One of our productions for this semester is a devised theatre work based on the novel Don Quixote – which will be in production in November. Devised theatre is a process of creating a play as an ensemble, and the early part of rehearsing is largely about learning to create together, and establishing an environment where we all feel comfortable sharing ideas and allowing each other to respond and expand those ideas.
This year, as a department, we are taking headshots so our students’ photos for our productions this season have a consistent look to them. For some of our students this is the first time doing headshots this way, so it can certainly be a learning experience.
Hopefully we can share some of the finished product with you as you see this season’s productions!
Thanks to our friend David Sprayberry for taking our photos this year!
As Belhaven University begins another academic year, and we begin the process of a new season of productions, a new semester of classes and activities, we thought we’d take a chance on giving a new start to our theatre department blog. Look for information about Belhaven University productions, classes, student projects and showcases, faculty activities, and other information that we hope you will find informative and valuable as you consider the connection between Christian faith, the arts, theatre, and our world.
Student blogger Eric Henderson offers a few tips for tackling the summer job search.
“What do I do with my summer?”
“I graduate in a few months, where do I begin looking for work?”
These are all questions many of us are asking ourselves as we finish up our spring semester and begin to plan for the next step. For some of us, a job through SETC working summer stock or an internship in props, costumes, or sound has already presented itself, but for those who haven’t quite found the right job yet, here are some resources to help you make it over the next hump and into a successful summer of training and experience.
Backstage (aka Back Stage) is an entertainment-industry brand aimed at people working in film and the performing arts, with a special focus on casting, job opportunities, and career advice. Backstage publishes a full-color glossy magazine in the U.S. (also available as a PDF) and a periodic digest-sized resource directory (Call Sheet) that covers the entertainment industry from the perspective of performers (singers, dancers, comedians, models, etc.), the performance unions (SAG-AFTRA, Actors’ Equity Association, AGVA, AGMA, the American Federation of Musicians, etc.), casting directors, agents, writers, directors, and, in particular, actors. Backstage also publishes related newsletters, produces industry trade shows (such as Actorfest), and hosts various panels and screenings, along with running multiple websites, including Backstage.com, Call Sheet Online (formerly known as RossReports.com), The Backstage Message Boards, Audition Update, and Backstage University.
Playbill is a free website that offers job postings, actor interviews, Broadway history, and breaking news about the theatre industry, focusing on New York shows but including regional, touring and international stage happenings.
The Equity is an American labor union representing the world of live theatrical performance, as opposed to film and television performance. The Equity offers job postings, actor interviews, Broadway history, and breaking news about the theatre industry as well, but they cater to actors on a greater scale to increase pay and locate jobs for actors needing work.
SETC, URTA, and UPTA:
All these conventions have an application process, cost, and deadlines to meet. At these conventions you have the options to audition and/or interview with hundreds of companies to do everything from acting to stage management to scene design, and costume design. SETC’s website also offers a Job Board for its members which details all manner of theatre jobs.
For those of us seeking summer stock acting jobs, cengage.com offers a comprehensive list of professional companies with summer work for actors with links to individual websites. Check it out here: http://www.cengage.com/resource_uploads/static_resources/0495898074/24674/summer_theatre_companies.html
offstagejobs.com is another great resource.
Finally I would check with department heads and acting professors. They have been where you desire to be and would enjoy nothing more than to see you thrive!
Student-directed Look Away will kick off the spring season of shows at Belhaven. Student blogger, Eric Henderson shares his thoughts on this stirring piece of theatre being produced in our Second Stage space.
‘Everyone on the train seems to be reading my letters. I heard one man refer to me as though I were dead.’
-Mary Todd Lincoln, Look Away
It is my pleasure to announce that on Thursday February 12th, 2015 a two-act play based on Mary Todd Lincoln and her seamstress and confidant, Elizabeth Keckley will kick off our spring semester of shows. This compelling production is based upon the life and letters Mrs. Lincoln wrote to friends and family during President Lincoln’s terms, after his assassination, and during her stay in the Bellevue Hospital for the insane.
The action of the play occurs in that hospital on Mary Todd Lincoln’s last night of residence before her sanity hearing. A stirring journey toward hope and recovery through avenues of grief, the first show of our spring season is not to be missed. Look Away was first presented at the Playhouse Theatre in New York City on January 7, 1973 with Geraldine Page as Mary Todd Lincoln and Maya Angelou as Elizabeth Keckley.
Belhaven University’s Theatre department prides itself on seeing their students explore their truest potential. With that being said, senior Theatre Production major Anna Bryant directs the show with conviction, enthusiasm, and fervor. Bryant says, “Mary Lincoln and I have the bond of both being Kentucky-born. Her story pulls at the very heartstrings of life. This story has tragedy, love, and friendship intertwined together giving you the woman who stood faithfully by one of the greatest presidents of the United States of America.”
Look Away by Jerome Kilty runs Thursday, February 12th through Saturday, February 14th with performances nightly at 7:30 PM in our Second Stage space located in the Center for the Arts. Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for students and senior citizens. Admission is free for Belhaven students, faculty, staff and their immediate families. For reservations, call 601-965-7026.
Opening this fall in Belhaven University’s Theatre Department is The God Committee written by Mark St. Germain and directed by Professor Joseph Frost. Recently, we sat down with the cast to learn more about the show and the process of putting it together.
Q: What is the show about?
A: The show deals heavily with the humanness of mankind and its ability to deal with ethics, morality and personal life. Average human beings have to gather together and rely on one another to make the best decision about the life of patients they believe to be the most deserving of life.
Q: What is the central issue?
A: The play centers around the panel of doctors, nurses, surgeons, and psychologist that are apart of hospital transplant selection committee that makes the final decisions on which person has been good enough to live and is worthy enough of a heart.
Q: What have you gained through the process?
A: The actors who are part of the show say investigating the inward workings of the process of these mortals playing god essentially has been insightful. Crockett Ward, a senior Theatre major, says [he] “gained a level of respect for the people who have to make life altering decisions for people every single day.”
Q: What do you hope the audience will gain from the show?
A: The cast hopes that every individual will discover something new about themselves as well by asking themselves –what decisions would I make in the situation? Did or am I making the right choice? Most importantly each individual will leave with a newfound appreciation for life and its fragility.
Q: What have been the better or difficult parts of the rehearsal process?
A: Overall, even though the show is a modern drama it is full of comical moments and heartfelt stories of life and our place in it. The hard part of that is trying to smile amidst something that is not at all easy to smile about. Laina Faul, a sophomore Theatre Ministry major, believes that humans possess such a power within themselves that they can go their whole lives not understanding, but within the show I get to see people embody evil and grace along with truthfulness and rage. Some people never get to explore that part of themselves –so maybe many will get to see parts of themselves in the show and use all the knowledge to grow themselves.
The God Committee opens October 1-4, 2014 at 7:30PM and a 2:00PM matinee on October 4th, 2014. Come with us and make a choice!
The deadline for submissions for the 2014 One Acts Submission is Monday, Sept 1, 2014! More information can be found at the tab on the header of this blog, which is the page http://blogs.belhaven.edu/theatre/one-act-play-2014
Plays will be selected for production by students in the fall Directing class, and will be produced in November 2014.
Tuesday night, April 1 is the opening night for the Arlene Hutton play “Last Train to Nibroc” at Belhaven Theatre (no foolin’). Break a leg to the cast and crew!
As has become the tradition in our department, after the first performance, there will be a post-Opening Night reception in the lobby.
Friday night, after the show, stick around for the first performance of Belhaven’s new comedy troupe Proverbial Improv. (Don’t worry, if you can’t make Friday, there will be a couple more shows before the end of the semester)
And on Saturday night, after the final performance, join us for a post-show discussion with our special guest, playwright Arlene Hutton!
Sea Change Theatre of Beverly, Mass. opens its production of Antigone by Sophocles tonight!
Sea Change was founded by two alumni of Belhaven Theatre Department, Jason and Staci Schaum – and Jason was an actor in Belhaven’s production of Antigone back in 2006.
If you are in the Boston area, check out this production! Break a leg to all the cast and crew of Antigone!
Ginny Holladay who graduated from the Belhaven University Theatre Department in 2013 is living and working in Seattle, Washington. I asked her to write a litte update on what she’s doing right now:
Assistant Directing on MR PIM PASSES BY has been way more fun than I deserve…mostly due to the fact that the director, Karen, called me up one day with the “crazy idea” of letting me play the maid Anne. Thanks to that completely nonsensical idea of hers, I have not only been able to observe a truly passionate and fun-loving director at work, but also work opposite some fantastically talented actors and crew. Working/interning at Taproot Theatre (Seattle, WA) has been a priceless experience for me, and I know I owe a lot to my experience at Belhaven University where I learned the following important lessons: -when to be silent and when to speak up -how to sleep and stay healthy in the midst of long, hard hours -to always be compassionate and encouraging to people you are working with…that’s all we want for ourselves after all.
I love and miss you all so very much. -Ginny
This is a drawing by the costume designer of MR PIM PASSES BY for Ginny’s character Anne.