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School Department News

Theatre and Communication

Monday, December 2, 2013 - 3:00pm

Hattiesburg, Miss., December 2, 2013 - William Carey University Theatre will present the Christmas classic “It’s a Wonderful Life” The Radio Play December 12 through 14 at 7 p.m. in the Joe & Virginia Tatum Theatre on the Hattiesburg campus.

Written by Joe Landry, “It’s a Wonderful Life” The Radio Play, celebrates the season with one of America’s favorite Christmas stories presented with live foley sound effects. Foley is the reproduction of everyday sound effects added to enhance the quality of audio for film, television, and radio.

The play is performed as a 1940’s live radio broadcast in front of a studio audience. The actors and the sound designer, Joey Roderick of Blue Ridge, Ga., produce the sound effects. The radio station WMBR has invited a group of actors to perform “It’s a Wonderful Life” as part of their programming. All of the actors get sick before the performance so the radio station employees stand in for the actors. The booth technician (Roderick) plays the lead role of George, the typical American dreamer. The producer (Kevar Maffitt of Olive Branch) portrays George’s guardian angel Clarence. The two sound technicians (Nicoli Hutchison of Carriere and Miles Boone of Hattiesburg), the announcer (Jason Piglia of Picayune), the stage manager (Jawoine Hawkins of Grand Prairie, Texas), the station manager (Billy Burkes of Meridian), maid (Alisha Fishel of Olive Branch), secretary (Haley Genberg of Warren, Penn.), studio ushers (Alyssa Keyes of Ringgold, Ga., and Rebekah Romack of McComb) perform the other multiple roles in this classic Christmas tale. 

Tim Matheny, chair of the theatre and communication department, is director. The scenic designer is Dewey Douglas of the theatre faculty. The lighting designer and stage manager is Chris Permenter of Oak Grove. The costume designer is Ben Salters of Vancleave and makeup and hair designer is Ashlyn Watts of Picayune. Joey Roderick of Blue Ridge, Ga., is sound designer, Billy Burkes of Meridian is properties designer and Katie Hardeman of Southaven is rehearsal assistant.

Tickets are $5 for general admission. Reservations can be made by calling 601-318-6221. The box office is open Monday through Friday from 1- 4 p.m. beginning December 9.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013 - 1:42pm

Hattiesburg, Miss., November 5, 2013 - A group from William Carey University attended the 92nd annual National College Media Convention, hosted by the Associated Collegiate Press and College Media Association (ACP/CMA), in New Orleans October 23-27.

Jeanna Graves, WCU administrative assistant for the department of theatre and communication and advisor for The Crusader yearbook, and Joshua Wilson, WCU marketing specialist and staff editor for The Cobbler student newspaper, attended the convention with yearbook editor Michelle Porciello and newspaper general manager/photographer Tiffany Goin.

The convention, held in the New Orleans Marriott on Canal Street, featured over 400 workshops and keynote speeches by media powerhouses such as Hoda Kotb, journalist with NBC News and, since 2007, co-host of The Today Show's fourth hour.

The WCU group attended many of the workshops and keynotes, learning tips on how to improve productivity, take better photographs, make better design and better engage audiences. The group was also able to attend an advance screening of the film Homefront, a major Hollywood release that will hit theaters around Thanksgiving. Group members were also able to meet director Gary Fleder and star Izabela Vidovic.

“We all took away so much from the convention that we can apply to our individual publications," said Wilson, who serves on the national advisory board for CMA. "We’re thankful to the ACP/CMA for hosting such an informative and fun event.”

Wednesday, October 23, 2013 - 4:34pm

Hattiesburg,  Miss., October 23, 2013 -

Wednesday, October 2, 2013 - 3:19pm

Hattiesburg, Miss., October 2, 2013 - The William Carey University Theatre will present “Hamlet,” the classic Shakespearean tragedy, October 10 - 12 and 17 - 19 at 7:30 p.m. in the Joe and Virginia Tatum Theatre in Hattiesburg. “Hamlet” was adapted for a contemporary audience by Tim Matheny, chair of Carey’s department of theatre and communication. 

This adaptation is very “audience friendly in that it is written in modern English,” according to director Obra Quave, professor emeritus of theatre. “Because the modern listener is not attuned to the language of Shakespeare’s day, Tim thought this would be a good way to introduce one of history’s greatest tragedies to those who may never see it otherwise. The time-honored story, with the classic revenge tragedy plot, remains intact.”

Shakespeare incorporates most of the elements of the revenge tragedy, popularized by Thomas Kyd before “Hamlet” was written.  These features include a secret murder; the appearance of a ghost; madness, real or feigned, of a principal character; bloody violence; and the deaths of most of the major characters.

In an attempt to make it truly universal, the Carey production takes the play out of time and place. Scenery, designed by Kevar Maffitt, uses what is sometimes called neutral staging, leaving the audience’s imagination free to create its own spaces.  Likewise, Jana Barkley has designed costumes that cross time periods. The other designers, Jason Piglia (lighting), Billy Burkes (sound), Ashlyn Watts (makeup and hair), and Alisha Fishel (properties) follow the same guidelines.  All the designers are WCU students majoring in theatre.  

Hamlet (Jason Piglia of Picayune), son of the deceased king, is enraged that his uncle Claudius (Kevar Maffitt of Olive Branch) has claimed the throne and married Hamlet’s mother Queen Gertrude (Katie Hardeman of Southaven). Officers Marcellus (Xavier Martin of Hattiesburg) and Bernardo (Justin Taylor Abbott of Picayune) contact Hamlet’s friend Horatio (Joey Roderick of Blue Ridge, GA), and inform him of the appearance of the late king’s ghost. The ghost reveals that he was murdered by Claudius, thus prompting Hamlet to begin his campaign of revenge. Claudius orders Rosencrantz (Nicoli Hutchison of Carriere) and Guildenstern (Ashlyn Watts of Picayune) to spy on Hamlet. Ophelia (Miranda Rester of Oak Grove), in love with Hamlet, is warned by her father Polonius (Chris Permenter of Oak Grove) and her brother Laertes (Billy Burkes of Meridian) to avoid Hamlet, who is showing signs of insanity. What ensues is, in Hamlet’s words, “a clash between two mighty opponents,” Hamlet and Claudius. The play within a play, featuring the Player Queen (Alexandra Williams of Carriere) and the Player King (Kevin Reddick of Waveland),  is arranged by Hamlet to trap Claudius. The Gravediggers (John Tyler Robinson of Albany, LA and Reddick) supply the principal comic relief.

Dewey Douglas, assistant professor of theatre, is technical director. Assistants to the designers are Ben Salters of Ocean Springs (costumes), Chris Permenter (lighting), Nicoli Hutchison (sound), and Taylor Abbott (makeup).

Tickets are $10 for general admission, $8 for military and senior citizens, and $5 for students. Reservations can be made by calling 601-318-6221. The box office is open Monday - Friday from 1 - 4 p.m. beginning October 7.

Friday, September 20, 2013 - 4:05pm

Hattiesburg, Miss., September 20, 2013 - The William Carey University Theatre will present “Hamlet,” the classic Shakespearean tragedy, October 10 - 12 and 17 - 19 at 7:30 p.m. in the Joe and Virginia Tatum Theatre in Hattiesburg. “Hamlet” was adapted for a contemporary audience by Tim Matheny, chair of Carey’s department of theatre and communication. 

This adaptation is very “audience friendly in that it is written in modern English,” according to director Obra Quave, professor emeritus of theatre. “Because the modern listener is not attuned to the language of Shakespeare’s day, Tim thought this would be a good way to introduce one of history’s greatest tragedies to those who may never see it otherwise. The time-honored story, with the classic revenge tragedy plot, remains intact.” 

Shakespeare incorporates most of the elements of the revenge tragedy, popularized by Thomas Kyd before “Hamlet” was written.  These features include a secret murder; the appearance of a ghost; madness, real or feigned, of a principal character; bloody violence; and the deaths of most of the major characters.
 

In an attempt to make it truly universal, the Carey production takes the play out of time and place. Scenery, designed by Kevar Maffitt, uses what is sometimes called neutral staging, leaving the audience’s imagination free to create its own spaces.  Likewise, Jana Barkley has designed costumes that cross time periods. The other designers, Jason Piglia (lighting), Billy Burkes (sound), Ashlyn Watts (makeup and hair), and Alisha Fishel (properties) follow the same guidelines.  All the designers are WCU students majoring in theatre.  
 

Hamlet (Jason Piglia of Picayune), son of the deceased king, is enraged that his uncle Claudius (Kevar Maffitt of Olive Branch) has claimed the throne and married Hamlet’s mother Queen Gertrude (Katie Hardeman of Southaven). Officers Marcellus (Xavier Martin of Hattiesburg) and Bernardo (Justin Taylor Abbott of Picayune) contact Hamlet’s friend Horatio (Joey Roderick of Blue Ridge, GA), and inform him of the appearance of the late king’s ghost. The ghost reveals that he was murdered by Claudius, thus prompting Hamlet to begin his campaign of revenge. Claudius orders Rosencrantz (Nicoli Hutchison of Carriere) and Guildenstern (Ashlyn Watts of Picayune) to spy on Hamlet. Ophelia (Miranda Rester of Oak Grove), in love with Hamlet, is warned by her father Polonius (Chris Permenter of Oak Grove) and her brother Laertes (Billy Burkes of Meridian) to avoid Hamlet, who is showing signs of insanity. What ensues is, in Hamlet’s words, “a clash between two mighty opponents,” Hamlet and Claudius. The play within a play, featuring the Player Queen (Alexandra Williams of Carriere) and the Player King (Kevin Reddick of Waveland),  is arranged by Hamlet to trap Claudius. The Gravediggers (John Tyler Robinson of Albany, LA and Reddick) supply the principal comic relief.

Dewey Douglas, assistant professor of theatre, is technical director. Assistants to the designers are Ben Salters of Ocean Springs (costumes), Chris Permenter (lighting), Nicoli Hutchison (sound), and Taylor Abbott (makeup).
            Tickets are $10 for general admission, $8 for military and senior citizens, and $5 for students. Reservations can be made by calling 601-318-6221. The box office is open Monday - Friday from 1 - 4 p.m. beginning October 7.