Shoestring Players’ “Memigery” Advances to Regional Finals of The Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival

January 26, 2015 at 11:22 am

DSC_0886The University of South Carolina Upstate is pleased to announce that the Shoestring Players’ production of “Memigery” has been selected as a regional finalist for the Region IV finals of The Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival.

The regional finals will be held February 2 – 7 in Albany, Ga. The winner will advance to perform at The Kennedy Center.

“The last six productions I have directed have been juried by a representative of the The Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival and out of those, four have been cited,” said Jimm Cox, professor of theatre. “This is the first time in 40 years that we have made it to the regional finals for our production of “Memigery.”

“Memigery” is a compilation of stories written by USC Upstate theatre students about memories of images from their childhoods, with music composed by student Elliot Ratgen. The production was initially performed at The Rose Theatre in London as a participant in the International Youth Arts Festival and most recently at the South Carolina Theatre Association Convention.

“We started by sitting in a circle and we had blank pieces of white paper in front of us and we had X number of weeks to put something onto those pieces of paper,” Cox said. “Students began to tell their stories and they sort of put them together in a narrative and then I revised to give it some dramatic structure, helped with turning a phrase differently for an audience.”

The group began to capture physical images that would represent the words being spoken. With only one dancer in the piece, there is a lot of stage movement. The show runs about 68 minutes.

“It is such an honor to be selected and to be this close to a performance at The Kennedy Center,” Cox said. “The visibility this brings to the campus, to our program and to these students makes all the sweat, toil and tears worth it.”

The cast and technical crew includes: Jordyn Chelf of New Mexico, Seth Kemp of Landrum, Harley Bevill of Greer, Andrea Azmuendi of Mexico, Ryan Barry of Spartanburg, Alistair Mann of Spartanburg, Garrett Gibson of Spartanburg, Michael Quinn of Spartanburg, Eliot Ratgen of Greenville, Jake Salgado of Alabama and Bethany Lancaster of Spartanburg.

Region IV is comprised of participating colleges and universities in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee and Kentucky.

“Memigery” is sponsored by the USC Upstate Office of Academic Affairs, USC Upstate Faculty and Staff, Mr. and Mrs. Bernard F. Odasz and the General Electric Foundation, the Greenville Healthcare System and Mr. and Mrs. George Dean Johnson, Jr. – Phifer Johnson, a family foundation.

For more information, contact Jimm Cox at (864) 503-5697 or jcox@uscupstate.edu.