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School Department News

Noonkester School of Arts and Letters

Tuesday, December 9, 2014 - 2:25pm
Friday, November 14, 2014 - 12:51pm
Monday, November 10, 2014 - 1:36pm
The William Carey University Theatre will present “Adventures from Aesop’s Fables,” adapted by Jeanna Graves and Deanna Graves, on December 11-12 at 7 p.m. and December 13 at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. in the Joe and Virginia Tatum Theatre.
 
The play takes 13 of Aesop’s 284 morality stories and presents them for children. Morals include “Honesty is the best policy,” “Don’t judge a book by its cover,” “There are two sides to every story” and “Real friends are faithful in good times and bad.”
 
Most members of the cast play multiple roles. Actors include Amanda Campbell of Picayune; Nadia Trinanes of Hattiesburg; Taylor Abbott of Picayune; Billy Burkes of Meridian; Branden Lindsey of Greenville, S.C.; Xavier Martin of Hattiesburg; Joey Roderick of Blue Ridge, Ga.; Rebekah Romack of Poplarville; and Ashlyn Watts of Picayune. The actors portray a variety of animal and human characters from Aesop’s tales, including The Tortoise and The Hare, The Boy Who Cried Wolf, The Grasshopper and The Ants, and The Town Mouse and The Country Mouse.
 
The production is entirely student designed.  “The student designers are mentored by their peers,” said O. L. Quave, director of the play and professor emeritus at WCU. “The students collaborate to bring Aesop’s world to life. The sets, masks, lights and sound create this world as if seen through a child’s eyes.”
 
Dewey Douglas of the theatre faculty is technical director. Douglas and Tim Matheny, chair of the Department of Theatre and Communication, are faculty mentors for students. Scenic designer is Miranda Rester of Oak Grove. The costume designer is Xavier Martin. Amanda Campbell is lighting designer and the sound designer is Taylor Abbott. Makeup designer is Rebekah Romack. The student designers are mentored by upperclassmen Billy Burkes, Joey Roderick, Chris Permenter of Oak Grove and Ashlyn Watts. Logan McCarty of Hattiesburg is rehearsal assistant. 
 
“Because the actors are playing multiple roles, the use of masks and other elements are important to bringing the animals to life,” said Jeanna Graves. “It’s like watching a pop-up book come to life. We want our audience, especially the children, to have their imaginations inspired.”
 
The box office opens Monday, December 8 and is open from 1 until 4 p.m. daily. Reservations can be made by calling 601-318-6221. Tickets are $5 each.
Friday, October 24, 2014 - 2:15pm
Friday, October 24, 2014 - 8:30am
Tim Matheny, chair of the Department of Theatre and Communication and assistant professor of theatre at William Carey University, was recently named the university’s 2014 Humanities Teacher of the Year.
 
As part of the award, Matheny presented a lecture entitled “The Power of Theatre: A Look into the Good, the Bad and the Ugly of Theatre’s Influence on Modern and Historical Societies” at WCU on October 23.
 
Matheny, of Petal, received his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in theatre and performance from William Carey College in 1995 and his Master of Fine Arts degree in theatre performance from the University of Louisville in 1999. He returned to WCU in 2000 to work as faculty, serving from 2000-2005. He spent three years working with the International Mission Board (IMB) in Russia and the Czech Republic before returning to WCU in 2008.
 
He is a seasoned performer and director, having worked with the popular Carey Dinner Theatre (CDT) beginning in 1994. He has also worked with Mosaic Productions in Moscow, Russia; the Hattiesburg Civic Light Opera; and the Louisville Repertory Company. At WCU, he has directed The Diviners, All My Sons and Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing, as well as the CDT performances of Route 66, The Taffetas and Cotton Patch Gospel. His original play, Beginnings, co-written with Jeanna Graves, and his adaptations of Hamlet, Macbeth and The Tempest have premiered at WCU. In 2013, he directed a short play that was performed at the IMB’s commissioning service in Hattiesburg.
 
Matheny has served on committees with the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival and was named chair of the college/university division of the Mississippi Theatre Association in 2012. He is a member of Alpha Psi Omega National Theatre Honor Society.
 
A faculty member from each higher learning institution in the state is selected for the Humanities Teacher of the Year honor each year by the Mississippi Humanities Council, a nonprofit corporation with the goal of sponsoring, supporting and conducting a wide range of programs designed to promote understanding of our cultural heritage, interpret our own experience, foster critical thinking, encourage reasonable public discourse, strengthen our sense of community and empower Mississippi's people with a vision for the future.