On October 13, 2012, Exits and Entrances, the play I directed for the Sumter Players, Americus’s Community Theatre, took top honors at GTC, winning Best Play, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor and Best Director. Our play now moves forward to compete at the Southeastern Theatre Conference in Louisville, KY in March 2013. At this conference we will compete against nine other states, in the bi-annual festival held by AACT, the American Association of Community Theatres Festival.
Our entry, Exits and Entrances, was written by the celebrated South African playwright, Athol Fugard, whose plays have been produced on and off-Broadway. The play takes place between 1956 and 1961 in various theatre dressing rooms and depicts the relationship between an aging actor and a young playwright. Through the actor’s mentorship, the playwright discovers his vision of what theatre should be in Apartheid South Africa.
I became involved in the Sumter Players in 2006. I have acted, worked backstage, directed, and run summer theatre camps for youth at the Rylander Theatre. SPI is lucky enough to be in partnership with the Theatre department at Georgia Southwestern, which has enabled us to reach greater standards of excellence in our productions. As a result of my youth theatre work, I was invited to join the Board of the Georgia Theatre Conference as vice-chair of the Youth Division in 2009. The Georgia Theatre Conference is held annually in different cities in the state (Albany hosted it in 2008). GTC offers festivals and workshops for youth, high school and college students, community groups, college and theatre professionals. Special guests are also invited, usually Georgia natives who have made it big in theatre. This year’s guests included Karan Kendrick, who played the trainer in The Hunger Games (and is originally from Fort Valley) and Fred Chappell, former Artistic Director of Atlanta’s Alliance Theatre (and a native of Americus).
Last weekend was incredibly exciting for both cast and crew; this is only the second time that a Sumter Players production has been selected as the Georgia entry at GTC. Wish us many broken legs!