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It's Not Too Late: Apply for the M.A. in Theatre Arts at BJU

Looking to take your Theatre training and experience to the next level? Check out the links and information below.

 

Feel free to reach out to David Schwingle or Erin Naler for advice guidance on grad. school work. 

Mrs. Corretta Grass Plays Lead in Final Performance Hall Play of the Season

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Actor Spotlight – Mrs. Corretta Grass

A Q/A with long-time faculty member and Voice Teacher, Mrs. Corretta Grass. 

 

Which character are you playing?

"I am playing the part of Carrie Watts, mother of Ludie Watts and mother-in-law to Jessie Mae Watts.  Her goal for 20 years has been to see her home place in Bountiful before she dies."

 

How is the character different or similar to you?

"The similarities in the character are that we are both older women. We both always seem to try to get things to work out with Plan B or Plan C when Plan A fails.  We both like to hold on to memories from the past!

The differences are that I would never run away, but would try very hard to find a way to get back “'Home.'”

 

What are some of your favorite parts of working on this production?

"My favorite parts of working on this production are many.  I love working with my former students.  Dr. Naler, the director, was my student.  So were Mr. Schwingle who plays Ludie, Kaitlyn Chisholm who plays Jessie Mae, Elizabeth Emhof who plays Thelma, Harry Miller who plays the Harrison station master and Clinton Holden who plays the Sherriff.  The assistant director, Ben Hamaan and several of the technical crew were all my students.  It is a joy to act in the same production with them!!!  I am thrilled with the opportunity to act (for the last time) with such wonderful people!!!"

 

Why should people come to see the show?

"Although it is a busy time of the year, I think people will identify with some of the characters in the play.  I think it will help them appreciate their heritage as they see Carrie Watts’ heritage unfold though her memories and her efforts to get home again."

H.S. Festival Participants Create and Stage New Plays in 24 Hours!

During the annual H.S. Festival, high school participants worked with faculty and Theatre Arts Majors and Graduate Stduents to stage new 10 minute plays in Performance Hall. 14 conteststants submitted plays during the contest; the faculty reviewed each play, announced 6 finalists, and chose 3 winning plays for production. The playwrights saw their writing come alive as festival participants performed for an over-capacity crowd in Performance Hall. Playwrights received awards at the end; the best acting ensemble also received acting awards. This marks the 3rd-Annual Playwriting and Acting-Ensemble category in High School Festival. 

The Man Who Came to Dinner: Cast Profiles

Wilbur Mauk—as "Whiteside"

Who is your character and how are you connecting to the role? 

My name is Wilbur Mauk; I am a Junior Theatre Arts major and I am playing the lead role of Sheridan Whiteside. This character is different than any of the other roles I have had before in that this is my first comedy in which I have a large role. A way I have connected with this character has been in my research of the man who the character was originally based off of, Alexander Woolcott. He was a man of great wit and tremendous pride. He always has to be the one with the last laugh and make a sarcastic snarky comment on every situation which he finds interesting. I wouldn't say I am very like this man however I do connect with him in ways I wasn't aware of before. I find the reason why he is so harsh on others around him is because he is defending himself as a person. He is hiding that he has feelings so that he can appear smart and in charge. He is very intricate and was definitely a challenge to portray. 

What are some of your favorite parts so far working with this script and cast?

The script is hilarious down to it's core! I love the history of how the playwrights found the inspiration to their play. Woolcott came uninvited to one of the playwright's house unannounced and terrorized the guests and bossed everyone around then left saying he had basically the worst time ever. The other playwright said that he was lucky Woolcott didn't break his leg while there which would of prolonged his stay and then the idea was born. Now the cast is just as enjoyable as the script. The people are hilarious and very fun to work with. I have immensely enjoyed working with this cast and getting to know each of them, which is hard to do with a cast of 23. This cast is filled with talented people who enjoy life, laughter, and theatre.

What is your favorite line from the play? 

"Well you have come to the right place. Dr. Sheridan Whiteside, broken hearts mended, brakes realigned, ... Hamburgers." 

Is there anything else you would like the audiences to know about you?

I am very grateful for this opportunity to do what I love. When you come to see the show, relax, laugh, and enjoy the life that God has given you. 

The Man Who Came To Dinner: Cast Profiles

Bethany Woodfin—as "Lorraine Sheldon."

 

Who is your character and how are you connecting to the role? 

Lorraine Sheldon. Lorraine is a famous star in the days of Old Hollywood. I’ve been a fangirl of this era for most of my life; I grew up watching all of the oldies and adoring the fashion, accents, and sparkle from that time period.  So in a way, I’ve been connected to Lorraine for years. But, in other ways, its been a real challenge to connect with her level of manipulation and “total diva” attitude. But, let’s be real, acting ridiculous can be a real blast on stage.
 

What are some of your favorite parts so far working with this script and cast?

This script is SO funny! Classic American humor! The script is full of random, unexpected moments, and the audience won’t be able to predict what crazy thing will happen next. I’m really looking forward to their reactions to the zaniness on stage. This cast has been awesome to work with. At the end of a long day, there’s just something about working on a comedy with people that can make you laugh night after night. I’ve enjoyed getting to connect with some old friends and getting to connect with some new students doing their first BJ show! Very exciting and I absolutely love it.
 

What is your favorite line from the play?

Can I say that more than anything, I just like *how* the lines are being said? I love getting to both use and hear the old accents and running around saying, “Dahling!” over and over. Personally, I enjoy doing the proposal scene, but I don’t want to give too much away. It’s just ridiculous and I have a lot of fun with it. 

Is there anything else you would like the audiences to know about you?

I really do subconsciously exist in this 1940s era. Even as a 7 year old kid, I preferred to watch Cary Grant films over cartoons. If there was a way to hear what your soul sounds like, I think you would hear Big Band music from mine, ha! My makeup cues have always come from Audrey Hepburn or Grace Kelly, and I’ve never followed modern trends, just how to create an old school look (even before dressing vintage was cool). So, when I was given the role of an Old Hollywood star, all of my friends just laughed and figured that there was some stereotyping going on.

 

 

The Man Who Came To Dinner: Cast Profiles

Elisabeth Emhoff—as "Maggie Cutler"

Who is your character and how are you connecting to the role? 

For part of my senior project, I get to play Maggie Cutler, Whiteside's secretary and right-hand woman. To be honest, his life would pretty much fall apart without her organizational skills... Maggie is somewhat like me in personality, so it hasn't been too difficult to connect with her. I actually have some experience as a legal secretary and personal assistant, so I know what it's like to be doing a million things at once all for somebody else! 

What are some of your favorite parts so far working with this script and cast?

I love how sassy Maggie gets as the play progresses. She starts pretty professional, but she's able to stand up for herself when things start to go awry. There's so many great sarcastic comebacks between Whiteside and Maggie which is always fun. And as for the cast, well, they're some of my favorite people in the world. They're all so hilarious in their own way, and so encouraging as well. It's very common for people to congratulate one another for a good performance as they come off stage. 

What is your favorite line from the play?

Movie star Lorraine Sheldon and Maggie can't stand one another, and when we have a very civil but snarky conversation, she condescendingly asks me about a book that no one can put down it's so good, to which I reply "I put it down, right there".  

Is there anything else you would like the audiences to know about you? 

I think it's easy for characters like Maggie to become 2 dimensional. My hope is that Maggie changes throughout the play, just like a real person would, and that the audience would get to see her different sides: vulnerability, sassy, love-crazed, and straight-up furious!

The Man Who Came To Dinner: Cast Profiles

Rebekah Nason—as "Miss Preen"

Who is your character and how are you connecting to the role?

My character is Miss Preen, Mr. Whiteside’s nurse. It was actually very hard to figure her out at first. She’s not necessarily a major character—she doesn’t get a lot of stage time. But we learn a lot about Mr. Whiteside by how he and Miss Preen interact. It’s hard for me to act older (she’s in her 40s) but Mrs. Nolan gave me a direction that really helped. I realized that Miss Preen is a strong character, she doesn’t back down and she’s not afraid to speak her mind if the time is right. I just have to remember to be “big” (take the stage and not be afraid to be a little crazy) and I need to connect with the other characters on stage!

 

What are some of your favorite parts so far working with this script and cast?

One of my favorite (and least favorite) moments to work on in the script is when Miss Preen meets Banjo. It’s one of those moments that audiences are going to remember. It’s slightly terrifying for me because I have a tricky “stunt” (for lack of a better word). But it’s fun because it’s when I can let go and make Miss Preen really go crazy! My other favorite moment is at the end when Miss Preen tells Mr. Whiteside what she really thinks of him. She doesn’t hold back and I can just scream and get out all the pent up energy. I love the moment when she realizes she is screaming and pulls back for just a moment, then goes right back to screaming. It’s a lot of fun to see how big I can get that moment. 

What is your favorite line from the play? 

 “Mr. Whiteside, if Florence Nightingale had ever nursed you, she would have married Jack the Ripper instead of founding the Red Cross. Good day.”

Is there anything else you would like the audiences to know about you?

My grandfather played Dr. Bradley in 1959/60 for his senior year of high school! Anyway, I hope audiences enjoy the show. It’s one of those shows you leave quoting because it’s just so funny. It’s perfectly timed so that it can be a distraction from school and stress for an hour or two. I’ve loved being a part of this show. It’s definitely one of my favorites!

M.A. in Theatre Arts at BJU

We recently met with Seniors and interested students and discussed grad. school/advanced work  in general and the BJU M.A. in Theatre Arts specifically. Below is some info. on our program. Feel free to reach out to David Schwingle or Erin Naler for advice guidance on grad. school work.