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Theatre

Theatre stands at the crossroads of all the arts—literary, performing, visual, digital and electronic. From the page to the stage, it seeks to infuse an appreciation for creativity and performance at all levels of society.

Theatre garnered numerous awards at the regional Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival. “Godspell,” directed by Professor Larry Nye, was selected as one of six productions in the region to go to the KCACT Festival in Hyannis. Thirty-five students competed at the festival and a number of them brought back awards: Senior Elizabeth Beale was given a Special Mention in Costume Design; Junior Olivia Cintron was cast in a show that was produced as a part of the One Act Play Festival; and seniors Teddy Hall and Cecilia Kurachi-Ube both made it to the final round of the Irene Ryan Acting Competition, with Teddy ultimately winning 1st alternate. Lastly, sophomore Brianna Bauch was singled out for a national award for her solo work in “Godspell.” This was the first national award Southern had received in many years. Faculty were also commended at the festival. Professor Nye’s work on “Urinetown” was given a merit award for Outstanding Choreography, Professor Monroe Rarick’s production of “Circle Mirror Transformation” was given a merit award for Outstanding Ensemble – Cast and Crew, and Professor Mike Skinner was awarded the Golden Hammer for best load-in/load-out.

Theatre has many ties to the surrounding community and places a high priority on community engagement on and off campus. Throughout this past year, an MOU (Memo of Understanding) was carefully drafted in order to deepen and formalize the long-standing relationship with the Elm Shakespeare Company. Professors Nye, Skinner and Monroe also worked in area schools directing, designing, and giving workshops. Theatre co-sponsored the touring production “I am Rachael Corrie” with the New Haven chapter of Jewish Voices for Peace. Acting I and Introduction to Performance students participated in co-curricular projects with the Department of Social Work and the School of Nursing respectively. And students in Stagecraft II class prepared portable door units to loan to the local New Haven Police precinct for a Halloween event for inner city kids. 

Theatre Department

Recent Departmental and Faculty Successes

Dr. Sheila Hickey Garvey was prominently featured in a Connecticut Public Television documentary about Letters from Italy, 1944 an oratorio she directed with the Middletown Chorale. The documentary was narrated by Meryl Streep and directed by Emmy-winning filmmaker Karyl Evans.

Larry Nye continued his work with the nationally known Stage Door Manor in the summer directing six musicals and leading the dance program. His work on “Urinetown” was given a merit award for Outstanding Choreography at the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival.

Kaia Monroe Rarick’s production of “Circle Mirror Transformation” was given a merit award for Outstanding Ensemble – Cast and Crew at the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival.

Mike Skinner returned to Connecticut Repertory Theatre’s Nutmeg Series as Sound Designer for Les Miserables, Peter Pan, and Xanadu. He was also a Guest Designer at Wesleyan University for Their production of “In the Heights.”

John Carter Sullivan continues to create sumptuous costumes and sets for Theatre productions including “Higgins in Harlem” and “Our Country’s Good.”