ELKINS – Area high school students had the opportunity to sample the Davis & Elkins College experience and see the Division of Creative Arts latest theatre production in a special presentation Wednesday at the college. Approximately 200 students from Philip Barbour, Buckhannon-Upshur and Tucker County high schools were to have visited campus for the day.
Although the Theatre Department’s fall production, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” concluded its run this past weekend, the cast and crew staged the private performance especially for the area students organized by the D&E Theatre Department and the Office of Admission. The show took to the road earlier this month for a presentation at Elkins High School.
“This is a great opportunity to see the funniest play Shakespeare wrote,” said D&E Admission Counselor Susan Plum. “Being able to see a college theatre production may really strike a chord with some of these kids, especially if they already have an interest in the creative arts.”
Plum, who graduated from D&E with a degree in theatre arts in 1996, said seeing a college production when she was in junior high school helped ignite her interest in theatre. With a desire to share a similar experience with other students, she and Admission Events Coordinator Angie Corbitt worked with Assistant Professor of Theatre Bridget Esterhuizen and Instructor of Theatre and Film Lonnie Martin to organize the event.
“We have a strong creative arts presence on campus and in the community,” Corbitt said. “This is a wonderful opportunity to connect the two groups and give area students hands on experience.”
After the performance, the visiting students divided into groups to participate in workshops with Esterhuizen and Martin.
Esterhuizen directs the play – a version of the classic set in the 1980s complete with songs and dance from the decade. The storyline focuses on a pair of complicated lovers, a gaggle of bickering fairies and a “show that must go on.”
All are thrown into chaos when that mischief-maker extraordinaire Puck introduces a love-inducing flower to try to make the night better. The best intentions have the worst consequences as misdirected love abounds, and everything must be set right before the sunrise comes.
The Davis & Elkins College Theatre Program offers courses in theatre and theatre production designed to provide students with knowledge of and experience in an art form which has played a key role in cultural history and contemporary society, and prepares them for the demanding job market of theatre and film.
The Bachelor of Arts in theatre arts provides for concentration in acting or directing, plus a unique opportunity to pursue accreditation in theatre education.