Kick Off a New Season with OU Theatre

Oglethorpe’s Theatre Department is starting the year off right by welcoming new Theatre Director/Visiting Assistant Professor Matt Huff and by offering ways for both Theatre and non-theatre majors to get involved.

The 2010 Season kicks off this week with Georgia Shakespeare’s “Welcome Back” Mixer for OU Students on Wednesday, August 25 at 6 pm in the Conant Performing Arts Center. (Georgia Shakespeare is Oglethorpe’s professional theatre in residence.) Come schmooze and eat pizza with the GA Shakes staff, OU Theatre faculty and students and learn about the exciting theatrical opportunities available to you this year.

Immediately following the mixer, auditions for Stop Kiss by Diana Son and Women Beware Women by Thomas Middleton will be held from 7:30-10 pm in Rehearsal Room A (third floor of Conant). All actors are welcome! Auditions will consist of cold readings of scenes from the scripts that will be provided. Not familiar with the plays? Check out copies in the Theatre Office (2nd Floor, Conant)–but please return them quickly as there are only a few copies of each.

Callbacks for Stop Kiss will be held the following night, Thursday, August 26 from 6:30-9:30pm. Rehearsals will begin the weekend of August 28. Callbacks for Women Beware Women will be scheduled in a few weeks.

In Stop Kiss, hardened New Yorker Callie befriends an optimistic newcomer to the city, Sarah, and the two unexpectedly fall for each other. Their first kiss, however, is violently interrupted forcing both women on a journey to discover who they are and what they are willing to commit to. Stop Kiss will run September 23-25.

Women Beware Women, Thomas Middleton’s salacious examination of sex, power and politics, is as shockingly depraved today as it was in the 17th century. This rarely performed Jacobean thriller spins a tale of lust and betrayal so destructive, the play easily lives up to its title. Women Beware Women will run November 18-20.

Make plans to take part in these productions–either on stage or in the audience–and be reminded why Princeton Review ranked OU’s Theatre among the top twenty theatre programs in the country.

“Spirit of Will” at Oglethorpe

Georgia Shakespeare's Producing Artistic Director Richard Garner (far left) and Board Chair Lauren Kiefer (far right) presented OU with the 2010 Spirit of Will Award. Accepting on behalf of Oglethorpe were (left to right) President Larry Schall and former OU Presidents Larry D. Large, Donald S. Stanton, and Manning M. Pattillo, Jr.

Georgia Shakespeare–the professional theatre-in-residence at Oglethorpe marked its 25th anniversary in 2010.  To celebrate, GA Shakes hosted its annual Bard’s Bash, where revelers “put on the ritz” at the roaring 20’s-themed gala.

At the Bash, Georgia Shakespeare presented its annual Spirit of Will Award to Oglethorpe.  The award honors those who exemplify the passion for the human condition that Shakespeare displayed through his writing, and who courageously advocate for the value of the arts as the ultimate expression of our shared humanity.

Over the past 25 years, GA Shakes and Oglethorpe have forged a model partnership that has both enriched students’ liberal arts experience and enhanced our community’s cultural offerings.

In 2008, OU initiated a Georgia Shakespeare Scholarship for incoming first-year students, based on a competition conducted jointly by OU English professors and GA Shakes associate artists and directors. More and more prospective students are drawn to the unique opportunity for an onsite acting internship.

OU also introduced a minor in Shakespeare and Renaissance Studies, as well as theatre-focused study abroad trips to England.  Theatre classes are often taught by Georgia Shakespeare associate artists–and two of OU’s theatre productions were directed by the artists. Students can work directly with the professional actors and staff, both onstage and behind the scenes. In fact, more than 100 students were involved during the 2009-10 academic year.

While still undergraduates, OU students have the opportunity to earn Equity credits and to work closely with acting professionals.  Oglethorpe offers an education and experience in theatre that is rivaled by few–if any–other liberal arts colleges.

Scholarship Weekend 2010

Prospective students gather during Scholarship Weekend 2010

Loads of eager high school seniors crowded into the Conant Performing Arts Center on the Oglethorpe University campus in January 2010 for our annual Scholarship Weekend.  The event is an important and unique opportunity for prospective students—including theater majors—to compete for one of many full-ride scholarships.  I can personally attest to the anxiety, exhilaration, and enthusiasm that is included in this event, as I competed not too long ago, but now that I am on the other side, I have a slightly different perspective. Continue reading