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Released June 25, 2003

SOUTHERN ARENA THEATRE WELCOMES CAREY DIRECTOR
FOR PRODUCTION OF THE FOREIGNER

Obra Quave, recently retired from administrating, teaching and directing theater at William Carey College, is a University of Southern Mississippi theater alumnus. Now, he is back at his alma mater directing Larry Shue's "The Foreigner" for the 2003 Southern Arena Theatre season. One of a three-show rotation at Southern Miss, the production will open July 8 and will run periodically through July 31 in the Gilbert F. Hartwig Theatre.

Quave will be directing this particular play for the first time. Although he characterizes "The Foreigner" as a hilarious comedy, he believes its audiences should take away a message from each show.

"All good drama has a message--that is very important," Quave said. "Our society needs that. Whatever message theater can give might make society better if given the chance."

"The Foreigner" is a comic romp set in a fishing lodge in rural Georgia. The action centers on Charlie, a fellow so painfully shy that he poses as a foreigner to excuse his lack of conversation. He overhears the sinister plans of some ill-intentioned characters and must do what he can to thwart their evil plans--without blowing his "cover." It is a play full of comic surprises.

After a long career with one institution of higher learning, directing at another university is yet another challenge for the veteran director/educator. Spending two months away from the familiar faces and spaces of his home theater, Quave is enjoying the adventure and is "gratified to have such a cooperative and good cast."

After earning his B.S. and M.A. from Southern Miss, Quave went on to pursue his doctoral study at the University of Iowa, with additional study at Banff School of Fine Arts at the University of Calgary, Banff, Alberta, Canada. Later, Quave returned to Hattiesburg to teach at William Carey College--for 42 years.

While at William Carey he served as director of theater, chair of the Department of Theatre and Communication, director of communications, and founder of the William Carey College Touring Drama.

Also during his tenure, the theater program at William Carey enjoyed great success at the American College Theatre Festival, having had several shows produced at Carey advance to the regional and national levels. One such show, "When David Danced," was presented as part of the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival in Washington, D.C.

"I consider William Carey College as more of an institutional colleague than a competitor," said Francis Kuhn, chair of the Department of Theatre and Dance at Southern Miss. "The more theater that gets done in Hattiesburg, the more people in Hattiesburg will appreciate theater. Thanks in large part to the years of hard work by Obra Quave, they do good theater at William Carey. At the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festivals, Carey and Southern Miss are each other's biggest fans.

"Obra Quave is a legend in these parts. We are proud of him as one of our graduates and delighted to have him back to bring his special touch to SAT 2003. He is an extraordinary director, and the company is really enjoying working with him. He brings a very reassuring, gentlemanly quality to his work, and I think the actors and designers respond very well to that."

Evening performances of all SAT productions start at 7:30 p.m., with a 2 p.m. Sunday matinee July 20 of "She Stoops to Conquer," in the Gilbert F. Hartwig Theatre. Individual show tickets are $10 for regular admission, $8 for senior citizens and Southern Miss faculty and staff, and $6 for students.

Season tickets, including all three productions, are $25 for regular admission, $20 for senior citizens and Southern Miss faculty and staff, and $15 for students. For tickets call the Southern Miss Ticket Office at (601) 266-5418 or 800-844-8425. Order online at www.tickets.usm.edu. Tickets may be purchased at the theater box office one hour prior to curtain time for each performance.

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April 20, 2004 4:09 PM

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