Southeastern hosting state theater festival Nov. 19-22
Contact: Tonya Lowentritt
HAMMOND – Southeastern Louisiana University is hosting the state competition of the Kennedy Center/American College Theater Festival Nov. 19-22.
“Southeastern is proud to be hosting the festival for a second consecutive year,” said theater instructor Jim Winter. “We have seen our participation this year more than double.”
The festival, which is open to the public, will feature productions by William Shakespeare, George C. Wolfe, Lee Blessing, and several student-written works by playwrights from Southeastern and the University of New Orleans, Winter said.
In addition to Southeastern, universities participating in this year’s event include McNeese State, University of Louisiana-Lafayette, the University of New Orleans, and Wharton County College in Texas.
Southeastern Theatre’s festival entry “SPUNK,” will kick-off the festival on Nov. 19. Additional festival productions include Wharton College’s “Twelfth Night” on Nov. 20 and McNeese State’s “Two Rooms” on Nov. 21. All productions are at 8 p.m. in D Vickers Hall’s Vonnie Borden Theatre.
The festival also includes staged readings on Nov. 21 and 22. The University of New Orleans will present “Verses from Jordan” on Nov. 21 at 2:30 p.m. in the Student Union Theatre. Southeastern will present staged readings on Nov. 22 at 2 p.m. in Vonnie Borden Theatre. Admission is free.
Southeastern’s production “SPUNK” is three short stories by Zora Neale Hurston that have been adapted for the stage by George C. Wolfe, author of “The Colored Museum” and “Bring in da Noise, Bring in da Funk,” and former artistic director of the Public Theatre in New York, said Rusty Tennant, Southeastern theater instructor and director of the production.
“The play celebrates that laughing, kind of loving, kind of hurting, kind of pain that comes from being human,” Tennant said. “It utilizes storytelling techniques and music which have been updated by Southeastern students Aaron Griffin, Darnell Campbell, and Tara Melvin.”
Cast members are Celeste Rubion, Hammond; Willie Williams, Ponchatoula; Brian Jordan, Baker; Brandy Fulton, Jeoffery Harris and Marjorie Parker, Baton Rouge; Jerrica Ricard, Denham Springs; Ra’Shida Williams, Gretna; Logan Sanders, Madisonville; Tremond Bailey, Marrero; Tara Melvin and Jaren Mitchell, New Orleans; Aaron Griffin, New Roads; and Darnell Campbell, Slidell.
Tickets for all festival productions are $5 and are available in the box office of D Vickers Hall.
Productions entered at the state level are eligible for consideration to advance to the KC/ACTF Region VI festival, which includes universities in Louisiana, Arkansas, Texas, New Mexico and Oklahoma. The regional festival’s best entries are invited to compete in the national festival, which will be held at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC in spring 2009.
“Last year more than 1,300 productions were entered in the KC/ACTF involving more than 200,000 students nationwide,” Winter said. “By entering this production, our theater department is sharing in the KC/ACTF goals to recognize, reward, and celebrate the exemplary work produced in college and university theaters across the nation.”
For additional information, contact Winter at (985) 549-3546 or James.Winter@selu.edu.