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Unified auditions coming for Upstate actors

Registration deadline: Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019

Be seen by casting directors for Upstate theatres

Brought to you by the South Carolina Theatre Association
  • Actors should prepare a 60 second monologue
    • Must be from a published play
    • Must be memorized
    • No costumes, please
  • Musical theatre actors should prepare 90 seconds of monologue and song
    • Must be from a published play or musical
    • Must be memorized
    • Must provide your own sheet music (we will provide the accompanist)
    • You can use the 90 seconds however you wish (all song, or song and monologue)
  • Technicians should prepare a presentation of their work.
    • Must bring your portfolio
    • May bring any examples.
    • You and your portfolio will be posted in a room for the casting directors to come visit and chat with you during their lunch break.
  • All auditionees including technicians will be included in the e-book that will be provided to participating theatres.  Upon registration you will receive and email requesting you to submit your resume and headshot.  If technicians have an on-line portfolio they can submit that link as well.  No paper copies will be accepted.
  • Please note: the Upstate Unified Auditions are opens to theatre artists age 8 and up. (18 and older on 2/16; ages 8-17 on 2/17)
  • If you have questions or issues registering, please contact Anita Sleeman: asleeman@southcarolinatheatre.org.
Go here to register now!

S.C. Theatre Association names three to its Hall of Fame

The South Carolina Theatre Association executive board announces three inductees in 2018 South Carolina Theatre Hall of Fame class. The hall honors South Carolinians who have made outstanding contributions, achieved careers of distinction, and are widely recognized as accomplished practioners of theatre. The SCTA Hall of Fame is awarded annually at the SCTA Convention. This year's inductees are:

  • Donna Wilson,
  • Douglas McCoy,
  • and Julian Wiles.

Donna Wilson holds a MFA in theatre, with a specialization in directing, and an MAT in theatre arts from USC. Recently retired as director of the Palmetto Center for the Arts (PCA) and theatre teacher at Richland Northeast High School, she earned her National Board Certification as an Early Adolescence Generalist and was Richland Northeast High School's 2001-2002 Teacher of the Year and a District Honor Roll Teacher of the Year. She is also a recipient of the Outstanding Theatre Educator Award presented by the South Carolina Theatre Association (SCTA) and is the recipient of SCTA's 2010 Lifetime Service Award. In addition, she received the 2010 S.C. Consortium for Gifted Education Award for Outstanding Professional Accomplishment, and more recently was named a 2015 TWIN (Tribute to Women in Industry) Honoree by the Palmetto Center for Women. Ms. Wilson has served as president of the S.C. Theatre Association, the Palmetto Dramatics Association, and the South Carolina Speech Communication Association and has been involved in numerous arts initiatives, including serving this year on the state's committee to revise the South Carolina Guidelines for Identification of Artistically Gifted and Talented Students. Her Richland Northeast theatre program, a winner of many awards and superior ratings, represented SCTA's High School Division at the Southeastern Theatre Conference in 2014 and 2013 and was selected five times (1998, 2002, 2004, 2007 and 2011) by the American High School Theatre Festival to perform at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland. Currently, she serves as Director of the Tri-District Arts Consortium, a summer program for artistically gifted and talented middle school students in Richland District Two, Lexington District One and School District Five of Lexington and Richland Counties. Douglas McCoy (posthumously) was the founding partner and executive/artistic director of Centre Stage-South Carolina! He directed over 136 mainstage productions at Centre Stage, including Mass Appeal, which in 1984 won first place locally in the SCTA Community Theatre Festival, regionally at the Southeastern Theatre Conference in 1985, and finally it was given fourth place at the Festival of American Community Theatre the same year. Douglas also worked in area high schools, Anderson Community Theatre, Clemson Little Theatre, New Arts Theatre in Asheville, Warehouse Theatre in Greenville, and The Greenville Savoyards, Light Opera Company. He has a minimum of 17 awards and honors for his productions and his work in the community, including city and county resolutions proclaiming Centre Stage a cultural asset to the community, an Elizabeth O'Neill Verner nomination, a Toastmasters International Communication Achievement Award, and a Jefferson Award, among others. He served on the board of directors of the American Association of Community Theatres, chaired the Community Theatre Division of SCTA, conducted theatre workshops for USC, Clemson, SETC, Perry Correctional Institute, and Upstate high schools and middle schools. During his tenure, Centre Stage produced five world premieres and twenty-one South Carolina premieres. Douglas' passion for theatre manifested in masterfully produced shows that were impactful to the audiences who were entertained, challenged, and sometimes pushed to the limits to look at issues that face humanity. His contribution and legacy can be seen today in the students he's inspired that are acting, teaching, and advocating in our communities. Douglas McCoy earned a place in our theatre community and should never be forgotten for his passion and commitment to the theatre arts. Julian Wiles founded Charleston Stage, Charleston's resident professional theatre company, in 1978. It has since grown into South Carolina's largest professional theatre and one of the state's largest arts institutions. Over the past 38 years, Wiles has directed and designed more than 200 productions and penned 27 original plays and musicals for the company. Wiles continues to serve as the company's producing artistic director, heading a staff of 25 full-time theatre professionals. Wiles, a South Carolina native, grew up on a cotton farm in Ft. Motte. He attended Clemson University, received a history degree from the College of Charleston in 1974, and an MFA in dramatic art from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1976. Wiles has written or adapted 27 original plays and musicals for the company including the boy who stole the stars, Nevermore! Edgar Allan Poe, the Final Mystery, The Seat of Justice, Denmark Vesey: Insurrection, Gershwin at Folly, Frankenstein: The Modern Prometheus, Helium and most recently, Inga Binga. Julian Wiles is a recipient of the 2010 Elizabeth O'Neill Verner Award, the state's highest honor in the arts awarded by the S.C. Arts Commission. Wiles is also a member of the Dramatists Guild. The 2018 South Carolina Theatre Hall of Fame inductees will be honored at a reception on Friday, Nov. 9 at Sullivan's Metropolitan Grill in Anderson, and the formal induction will take place at the Henderson Auditorium in the Rainey Fine Arts Center at Anderson University at 8 p.m. The SCTA Hall of Fame was started in 2016 with the first inductee being Dr. Phillip Hill. Other inductees to date are Sally Cade Holmes, Randall David Cook, Erskine C. Johnson III, Jack Benjamin, and Jim and Kay Thigpen.
For more information about the annual convention please visit www.SouthCarolinaTheatre.org

GP McLeer named new executive director of SC Arts Alliance

George Patrick McLeerGeorge Patrick (GP) McLeer, Jr., administrator of the City of Mauldin's Office of Cultural Affairs, has been named to succeed Betty Plumb as executive director of the South Carolina Arts Alliance, SCAA President Rose Sheheen of Camden announced today. McLeer officially will take the reins of the statewide nonprofit arts advocacy and service organization on July 1, with Plumb assisting in the transition until September 1, including the relocation of the SCAA office from Rock Hill, Sheheen said. "The Arts Alliance Board completed a five-month search for its new executive director, and we were quite pleased to attract a number of highly qualified candidates, which made the selection process exceedingly difficult. However, GP was the board's unanimous choice," Sheheen said. "Not only has he been a board member since 2011, most recently as first vice president, but he also brings knowledge, enthusiasm, vigor, youth and passion to a most important position in the art world of South Carolina. It is with excitement and confidence that the Art Alliance welcomes GP as its next leader!" Sheheen continues, "He has extensive experience working with government officials and a broad spectrum of artists and arts agencies. As the sole employee of a nonprofit arts center and local government office, he has been responsible for everything from booking acts to grantwriting and even operating the lights during performances." Plumb, who has headed the SCAA for 27 years, achieved state and national prominence as a leader in advocacy for public funding of the arts and arts education. In recent weeks, she was announced as winner of the 2016 Elizabeth O'Neill Verner Governor's Award, in the individual category; the "Together for Good Advocacy Award," from the S.C. Association of Non Profit Organizations (SCANPO); and the S.C. Theatre Association's advocacy award. McLeer thanked Plumb "for her years of service in building the organization to the level it is today. The next chapter for the SCAA would not be possible without her having written the one before it. I am excited and honored to be selected as the next executive director for the SCAA. I have lived in South Carolina my whole life and have seen how the arts have positively impacted the lives of my family, friends and community. My passion has always been to help ensure that the arts can thrive in my community, so to be able to expand that passion to all communities in South Carolina is something I am ecstatic about. I look forward to working with the board of directors to continue advancing the arts for all South Carolinians, and to partnering with artists, arts administrators, advocates and community leaders all over the state to help the arts grow in South Carolina." McLeer's current responsibilities include managing the Mauldin Cultural Center, a repurposed 1937 school that hosts 30,000 people and more than 1,500 events annually, and handling all city-wide marketing efforts. He was responsible for starting the Railroad Concert Series, an annual free series featuring locally and nationally known performers; managing the Mauldin BBQ Cook-Off, a signature community event; and creating the Maudlin Public Art Trail, a 10-year continuous cycle of public art installations. Before working for the City of Mauldin, he was executive director of the Mauldin Cultural Center, a nonprofit organization. McLeer, 27, is a 2010 graduate of the College of Charleston's Arts Management Program. He lives in Fountain Inn.

Trustus Theatre recognized with three major awards

From Broadwayworld.com:

Trustus Theatre (located in Columbia, S.C.) has received three major awards from prominent national and statewide arts organizations: a national grant award from the Shubert Foundation, the South Carolina Theatre of Distinction Award from the South Carolina Theatre Association, and SCTA's Founders Award, which was presented to Trustus Artistic Director Dewey Scott-Wiley. Trustus received a $15,000 grant from the Shubert Foundation for the 2014-2015 theatre season. The Foundation provides general operating support for not-for-profit professional theatre and dance companies across the nation. The grant award was based on a strong track record of artistic achievement, administrative strength and fiscal responsibility. In addition, SCTA presented Trustus with the first South Carolina Theatre of Distinction Award. In presenting the award, Professional Theatre Division Chair Anne Tromsness described Trustus as a "theatre that became, very quickly, a safe place for exploration and expression of the political, the personal, and all things human. Its art inspired thought, and thought inspired action. It quickly became a center for embracing the counterpoint - and giving visibility to perspectives and experiences that had traditionally been marginalized." Dewey Scott-Wiley's SCTA Founders Award is presented annually to the person or organization judged to have done the most for theatre in South Carolina during the preceding year. Dewey is the professional division chair of the Southeastern Theatre Conference and is an associate professor of theatre at USC-Aiken. Most recently at Trustus she directed "See Rock City and Other Destinations" and will be directing the 2014 Trustus' Playwright's Festival winner "The Velvet Weapon," in August. "We are honored to be awarded a grant that recognizes not only the theatre's contribution to professional theatre in the U.S., but also the development of new work, which continues to be a vital part of the mission at Trustus," said Scott-Wiley. "Being acknowledged by The Shubert Organization in this way is a profound affirmation of our longstanding commitment to producing important new American theatre." For more information, visit http://www.trustus.org.

Clemson theatre students pursue opportunities across the nation

Donors help underwrite participation in career-boosting conferences. (Pictured above: Clemson Students at USITT (from left) Marie Rosasco, Kelsey Bailey, Thomas Fernandez, Elizabeth Haynes, Gabriella Lourigan) Clemson student performing artists have a history of success. Though less than two decades old, the production studies in performing arts major has produced top-tier professionals who have excelled in every aspect of the theatrical and musical worlds. Whether accepting offers to graduate programs or securing summer employment, Clemson students have continuously shown they have what it takes to compete on the big stage. This was never more apparent than when students and faculty loaded up for two road trips to theatre conferences in March. Seventeen theatre students and three faculty members traveled to Mobile, Alabama, to attend the annual Southeastern Theatre Conference (SETC). Here, professional theatres and graduate programs from across the country gather to hold auditions and interviews for young theatre artists based in the Southeast. Graduating seniors have the chance to earn slots at highly selective graduate schools or compete for full-time positions at theatre organizations, while underclassmen are able to seek out summer internships in their chosen fields. A total of 10 technical theatre and design students participated, and all 10 were offered employment and/or summer internships:

  • Elizabeth Haynes will be a carpenter for Porthouse Theatre in Kent, Ohio, for the summer.
  • Kelsey Bailey accepted a position as assistant prop master at the Heritage Theatre Festival this summer in Charlottesville, Virginia.
  • Vanessa Galeno will travel to Hangar Theatre in Ithaca, New York.
  • Kat Watson will become a full-time stage management intern at Omaha Theater Company in Omaha, Nebraska.
  • Marie Rosasco will work with Flatrock Playhouse in Hendersonville, North Carolina, as a staff scenic painter.
  • Gabrielle Lourigan will be a general technician and stagehand at the Castleton Theatre Festival in Castleton, Virginia.
  • Cassie Lanier, Thomas Fernandez, and Wylder Cooper will be working at Unto These Hills in Cherokee, North Carolina.
  • Trevor Floyd will be the assistant director for Greenville Light Opera Works in Greenville, S.C.
  • Another student, Gabrielle Norris received offers, but accepted a position from Spoleto Festival USA through a contact with Technical Theatre Solutions of Charleston.
Clemson acting students who were advanced from last year’s auditions at the South Carolina Theatre Association’s (SCTA) Theatre Festival were able to participate in SETC auditions. These students had 90 seconds to make an impact with a monologue and a song (and just 60 seconds without a song). Students Meredith Kidd, Sara Tolson, Drew Whitley, Alessandro McLaughlin, and Preston Taylor Stone all passed their SCTA auditions and participated in this extremely challenging process. Kidd received a full-time offer from B Street Theatre in Sacramento, California; Other students taking part in SCTA were Jessica Houston, who wrote an original play; Trevor Floyd, who directed in the Ten-Minute Play Festival; and Claire Richardson, who attended as a Clemson ambassador. Students saddled up once again, this time for Fort Worth, Texas, traveling to the United States Institute for Theatre Technology Conference (USITT). Three faculty members, Shannon Robert, Matthew Leckenbusch, and Woody Moore, served as Clemson ambassadors. Five design/technology students attended and participated in a number of classes and workshops: Kelsey Bailey, Marie Rosasco, Gabrielle Lourigan, Elizabeth Haynes, and Thomas Fernandez. Fernandez participated in the Rosebrand Action Design Competition with a number of professional designers, teachers, and students. Haynes participated in the “Tech Olympics,” in which participants are given technical challenges to complete. According to Robert, USITT sets the standards for theatrical technology, safety, architecture, and design industries, and is the largest technical theatre conference in the United States. Robert, one of the faculty members who made both trips, is an associate professor of theatre with a focus in scenic design. She says both SETC and USITT can be valuable career-building tools.  “SETC is a really great conference for students because it provides multiple opportunities on multiple levels. The best thing about it is the opportunity to network, because students get the chance to be in the same room with a lot of industry professionals.” Students also have their instructors to lean on when it comes to making professional connections. “If some of the faculty know people from having worked with them in the past, students get introduced to them,” Robert says. “It’s easy to remember people through associations.” Clemson student Elizabeth Haynes Robert says SETC is the largest conference of its type in the United States, a fact that makes freshman Elizabeth Haynes’ (pictured right) achievement that much more astonishing. Haynes, a production studies major from Nashville with a technical theatre concentration, received a dozen summer job offers after attending the conference. “SETC was a touch overwhelming at first,” Haynes says. “I talked to a lot of other students my age who are doing the same things I want to do for a living.” She says she did not expect to receive as many job offers as she did. “I was hoping to receive at least one so I could work somewhere over the summer,” she says, “but it was a reaffirmation that I’m doing what I should be doing.” Haynes says she has been well-prepared by the quality of instruction she receives in the production studies major. She says technical director Matt Leckenbusch, who, in addition to organizing the creation of set pieces for Clemson Players productions, supervises students who work on projects for other theatres and venues around the state. “If I didn’t have that variety of experiences in my portfolio, I never would have gotten a job,” Haynes says. “Freshmen here are allowed to pursue any aspect of technical theatre they want. I learned to weld, and that’s what got me the job this summer. I would never have gotten that at another program.” Haynes says she doesn’t know exactly what she wants to do after she graduates, but knows she wants to continue in the field of technical theatre. Leckenbusch and Robert both emphasize how proud they are of their students’ accomplishments, and are excited that the preparation and training they receive as production studies majors has paid off. They are also thankful to the Friends of the Brooks Center, a group of donors who give to the Brooks Center for the Performing Arts and the Department of Performing Arts, who made the trips possible (additional funding for the USITT trip was secured through a grant from a theatre industry business contact). “We wanted to make sure everyone got to go, regardless of financial situations,” says Leckenbusch. “That was why the Friends of the Brooks Center funding was so important.” He says that, without this help, the conferences simply would have been out of reach. Both SETC and USITT are on the docket for next year, when another crop of students will lay the foundation for their future. It will be a good thing that they have such capable instructors on hand to guide the way.

by Thomas Hudgins, Matthew Leckenbusch & Shannon Robert