“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