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King University News :: King University Theatre Program Announces 2013-14 Productions

Chilling tales full of mystery and intrigue kick off King University’s Theatre program’s 2013-14 season.  The year will bring with it student-led productions along with a spring family-friendly play written by a King alumna. 

“The Theatre’s focus for fall is plays by women.  Our two main stage productions are mysteries written by women as well as our Twin City Radio Theatre Troupe’s productions,” said Chris Slaughter, professor of Theatre for King University.

The theatrical productions will kick off in October 18-20 at Theatre Bristol Artspace in downtown Bristol with the Twin City Radio Theatre’s production of “The Hitch-Hiker and Other Chilling Tales.”  The evening will include three plays by Lucille Fletcher including the classic, “The Hitch-Hiker, a radio play written for Orson Welles. Welles first performed “The Hitch-Hiker” in Nov. 1941 on CBS Radio.  The play was later adapted for a 1960s episode of The Twilight Zone. 

In November, 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 be directed by King senior Theatre major Jesse Thomas as his senior capstone project.  The productions will include “Sorry, Wrong Number” by Lucille Fletcher and “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson. 

“This will be the first time that a student directed production will take place at the Paramount Center for the Arts in downtown Bristol,” said Elizabeth Dollar, associate professor and director of Theatre for King.  “Our student directed plays will also include lighting and set design by students.  This is real world experience that these students are getting; it is their show.”

Thomas commented, “Being selected to direct two theatrical productions at The Paramount Center for the Arts is truly a wonderful opportunity.  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!”

In February 2014, for his senior capstone project, Theatre major Trung Phan will direct British playwright Peter Shaffer’s one-act farce “Black Comedy.”  The production will take place in the Fine Arts Building on King’s Bristol campus Feb. 27-March 1. 

This year’s Dogwood Playhouse production takes place during King’s annual Dogwood Weekend, a time for King alumni to reconnect and reminisce.  This year’s play is timed perfectly as the Theatre Department will present Katherine Paterson’s “The Tale of the Mandarin Ducks.”  Paterson is herself a King alumna having graduated from then King College in 1954 summa cum laude with a degree in English. 

Dollar said, “We are thrilled for our Dogwood Playhouse to feature a play by one of King’s own.  Katherine Paterson spent much of her childhood in China as well as several years as a missionary in Japan after college.  Her time is Asia is the influence behind this wonderful folk tale.  During the shows, we will utilize a variety of traditional Asian theatre performance techniques including puppetry and kabuki style makeup.”

“The Tale of the Mandarin Ducks” will take place April 11-13 at the Paramount Center for the Arts and will include special performances for area elementary and middle school children.

For more information about King’s Theatre Department, visit http://arts.king.edu or contact Elizabeth 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.