of Southern Mississippi professor of theater Monica Hayes will play
the leading role for the Department of Theatre and Dance's next
season production, Euripides' classic Greek tragedy Medea. The show
opens Feb. 27 and runs through March 2 and again March 10-12 in
the Martha R. Tatum Theatre.
season-planning meeting for 2003-2004, Frank Kuhn, chair of the
department, asked Hayes to play the role of Medea.
sense for acting professors to act from time to time," Hayes
said. "In fact, it is essential to good programs across the
country. Some lesser programs run by nonprofessionals diminish the
study of acting by making it the exclusive realm of students and
directing the exclusive realm of faculty."
is theater does not exist without the actor and the audience. At
Southern Miss, we are training students in all aspects of theater.
We require all majors to study acting, directing, and design/technology.
A major part of the 'teaching' we do is in production, so faculty
participate in all aspects of the work and advise students in their
work," Hayes explained.
production of the 2003-04 season also features a guest director
at the helm. Paul Wiedner, producing director of the Hartford (Connecticut)
Stage Company for 12 years, teams up with the department thanks
to a long-time acquaintance with Kuhn.
is an extremely important director in contemporary American theater,"
Hayes said. "He provides a truly professional relationship
for me because we don't have any educational theater status issues,
such as faculty/student situations, tenure, promotion, alliances,
etc. I can trust that he is working with me as he would with any
other professional actor."
requires the team of actors and technicians to rehearse fours hours
a night, five nights a week until dress rehearsals begin-which take
even longer. Hayes described the collaborative environment for work
as enjoyable for everyone, thanks to Weidner.
encourages the students and speaks to them with respect, helping
them make every moment active and honest. He also listens to their
ideas and makes each actor part of the artistic process," Hayes
actor in her own right, Hayes hopes to illustrate to students how
the process is key to the performance. "All of the work we
do in classes plays a part in production," Hayes explained.
She also credits
her colleagues for their professional design work in making the
production a success--Stephen Judd for sets, Brian Hapcic for sound,
and Larry Mullican for costumes and graduate student Ben Wheeler
for lighting. "It's one of the most exciting set designs we've
ever done," Hayes stated.
A member of
Actors Equity Association, Hayes has acted professionally in the
United States, Scotland, and England. Local audiences have seen
her work on the Southern Miss mainstage in past productions of Shakespeare's
As You Like It, Arthur Miller's The Crucible and in a showcase of
is one of the most demanding roles ever written. My age and life
experiences are helpful in the preparing for the work," Hayes
Medea are now on sale at the Southern Miss Ticket Office. The show
runs Feb. 26-March 1 at 7:30 p.m. (2 p.m. on Feb. 29) and again
March 10-12 at 7:30 p.m. nightly.
$10 general admission, $8 for Southern Miss faculty and staff and
senior citizens and $6 for students ($2 for Southern Miss students
with ID). Call the Southern Miss Ticket Office at (601) 266-5418
or 800-844-8425 for tickets, or order online at www.usm.edu/tickets.
A benefit brunch
has been planned for the Feb. 29 Sunday matinee. The 2 p.m. matinee
will follow the noon brunch in the Martha R. Tatum Theatre. Tickets
for the brunch and performance are $25 per person. To reserve a
space, call the Department of Theatre and Dance at (601) 266-4994.
All brunch proceeds will benefit the department.
are available as well March 8 and 9 at 10 a.m. Call the Department
of Theatre and Dance at (601) 266-4994 for more information.