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King University News :: King Theatre Presents First Student-directed Productions at Paramount Center for the Arts November 7-9

King University’s Theatre Department has a long-standing tradition of presenting student-directed theatrical productions.  Nov. 7-9, The Paramount Center of the Arts in downtown Bristol, Tenn., will host its first student-directed theatrical production by King University’s Theatre Department.  The audience will enjoy two chilling tales full of mystery and intrigue as student director and senior Theatre major Jesse Allen Thomas leads “Sorry, Wrong Number” by Lucille Fletcher and “The Lottery” by Brainerd Duffield based on the story by Shirley Jackson.

“We are thrilled once again to collaborate with Paramount,” says Elizabeth Dollar, associate professor of Theatre and director of King’s Theatre program.  “Jesse has chosen two challenging projects that not only fit well together but also will make for an exceptionally entertaining evening.  In addition to direction, the plays will also include costume and set design by students.  This is real world experience these students are getting; it is their show. The experience Jesse and our other King students are gaining as theatre artists can’t be measured.”

In November, the two one act plays will be performed together for a full evening of spine tingling suspense.  Included will be two school performances on Nov. 7-8 along with general audience performances on Nov. 7-9. 

The plays will serve as Thomas’ senior capstone project.  “Being selected to direct two theatrical productions at The Paramount Center for the Arts is truly a wonderful opportunity,” says Thomas.  “I feel tremendously blessed and grateful to have been chosen by Professor Dollar and the Theatre Department. I am extremely excited to direct. I encourage everyone to come see the production, which I hope will be an enjoyable experience for all!”

The play “Sorry, Wrong Number” is a mystery thriller.  It is the tale of a neurotic invalid, whose only contact with the outside world is her phone. During the course of a night, because of a crossed wire, she hears plans for a murder, which turns out to be her own.  Her frantic efforts to enlist help through the only means at her disposal, her growing terror and realization of the truth, and (along the way) the hints about her own life and personality she lets drop make this a full character portrait not only of herself but of the unseen murderer, whose identity and motivations are surmised but never revealed.


“The Lottery” was published originally in The New Yorker magazine. Having produced an unprecedented reaction, this dramatization captures the story that has become an internationally known classic. Like the story, the play starts as people are assembling for the lottery. Only gradually do we begin to suspect the nature of the lottery as the play builds swiftly to its crucial and moving climax. 

Scenic design for the two plays is by senior Dyvon Passmore. Costume design is by junior Natasha Trombly.  Properties design is by 2013 alumna Glory Allison Cumbow.  The production stage manager is junior Wayne Thomas.  Professor Elizabeth Dollar will provide lighting design for the productions while Christopher R. Slaughter, associate professor of Theatre, will provide sound design.

Tickets can be purchased at the Paramount Box Office, by calling 423-274-8920, or by going to www.theparamountcenter.com.  Adult tickets are $10.00; senior citizens are $8.00; and students are $5.00.  Tickets are free with a King University ID.  For additional information, contact Elizabeth Lee Dollar at 423.652.4839.

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King University is a Presbyterian, master's-level comprehensive university.  Founded in 1867 as King College, the University offers more than 90 majors, minors, pre-professional degrees and concentrations in fields such as business, nursing, law, medical and health sciences, pharmacy, education, and humanities.  Graduate programs are offered in business administration, education, and nursing.  A number of research, off-campus learning opportunities, and travel destinations are also available.  King University is a NCAA Division II and a Conference Carolinas member with 25 varsity athletic teams.  For more information about King University, visit www.king.edu.  King University does not discriminate against academically qualified students of any race, color, national or ethnic origin, sex, age, or disability.  King University is certified by SCHEV to operate locations in Virginia.  For more information, contact the King University office at Southwest Virginia Community College, 309 College Road, Richlands, VA 24641.