During the 2017-18 school year, Lyon College’s theatre program saw its most successful season in five years. The Region VI Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival recognized all three of the program’s productions – “The Importance of Being Earnest” for meritorious achievement in directing and in ensemble acting, “Provincetown: An Evening of One Acts” for meritorious achievement in directing, and “Proof” for meritorious achievement in overall artistic and production quality.
The Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival also invited the cast of “Provincetown: An Evening of One Acts” to showcase a scene at the regional festival in February at Angelo St. University in San Angelo, TX. Navy Griffin, a sophomore at Lyon, said, “All of us were terrified since it had been months since we had last done the show. We were all hoping we wouldn’t forget our lines.”
Luckily, the scene earned Navy and her castmates plenty of laughs. “We performed on a wooden stage. It was shiny, clean, and varnished. There was no traction whatsoever between my heels and the floor…I was supposed to run on stage. Instead, I slid in. I should have broken my ankle, but I added a dose of funny to the scene instead.”
As previously released by Lyon College, the cast of “The Importance of Being Earnest” received individual honors from the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival. Trey Smith and Carson Matthews were Irene Ryan nominees for their performances as Algernon Moncrieff and Lady Bracknell while Kendra Bell won an award for excellence in set design. Dr. Foznie Geary won an award for excellence in directing.
Before Dr. Geary joined the College five years ago, the theatre program was struggling to thrive. Lyon had no tech director and had recently cut its theatre major. Over the last five years, the theatre major has recovered amply, gaining at least seven students majoring in theatre and a tech director. In recent years, more students audition for plays than can possibly participate. To meet the desire for more roles, the theatre program will offer four shows throughout the next academic year, two of which will be directed by students.
Of the program’s success, Dr. Geary says, “I am happy to say that our theatre program is rising, and it’s rising principally because of the incredible work that the students have put into it.”
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