A revived theater program at Middle Georgia State College will present its first stage production of the fall semester.
Doubt: A Parable opens Oct. 30 at the Arts Complex Theatre on the Macon campus and runs through Nov. 3.
Theres really a lot of potential here, there really is, said J. Scott McElheney, who was hired last fall as an assistant professor of theater. My long-term goal is to make Middle Georgia State College a destination for students that want to study theater.
Doubt features a student-led cast of three women and a man.
Its about doubt. Its about doubting ones convictions, ones beliefs, ones faith, said McElheney, who is directing the production. It centers around a nun in a parochial school in New York who has a personal vendetta against a parish priest. She is convinced he is behaving inappropriately with a student.
McElheney said the nun works to remove the priest and brings in a younger nun as a co-conspirator.
In the end, she does successfully get rid of the priest but by doing so she really begins to doubt herself, he said. By the end, she is not sure she has done the right thing.
The audience is left to decide if the priest was guilty, McElheney said.
Its a fairly serious piece of theater but there are some moments of humor in it, he said. Its something that will make an audience member think. I would classify it definitely as a dramatic piece.
The production is the first since Middle Georgia State College officially launched its new associate degree in theater this fall.
What were trying to do now is a combination of a new theater degree and a new director and a revitalized institution, said Kevin Cantwell, who is chair of the colleges Media, Culture and Arts department. Were trying to get some momentum and reestablish Middle Georgia State College as a home for theater, which it was for a long time.
He said the college once had a vigorous theater program under the direction of professor Sydney Chalfa but funding was cut some years back. Last year, the department was given the OK to hire a theater director and brought McElheney on board in summer 2012.
Coincidental with that, we were consolidating our institution, Macon State College, with Middle Georgia College and they had a theater program that was ... on the books, but they didnt have a theater director and they hadnt offered the classes in a while, Cantwell said. So, it was a lucky combination of us hiring a director and the college revitalizing an associates degree in theater.
He said the college is already seeing results.
We are strengthening our film curriculum. Weve hired a filmmaker for the first time, so were pleased about that, Cantwell said. In general, the department is in all areas -- art, music, theater -- especially trying to strengthen what were offering and trying to draw from what the former Middle Georgia College offered and what Macon State offered and combine these strengths to provide more curriculum for students.
Doubt: A Parable
When: 7:30 p.m. Oct. 30-Nov. 2; 2:30 p.m. Nov. 3
Where: Arts Complex Theatre, Middle Georgia State Colleges Macon campus
Cost: $8 general admission; $5 senior citizens and other students; free for MGSC students, faculty and staff