HUTC to Present 2015 Senior Showcase

The Huntington University Theatre Company will present the 2015 Senior Showcase on Saturday, May 2, at 7:30 p.m.

The evening will showcase the talents of the graduating seniors in the department who will perform songs, scenes and works that are a culmination of their years of study in performance and design.

“I’m particularly proud of these six graduating seniors, which includes four majors and two minors,” said Jay Duffer, associate professor of theatre arts. “They have demonstrated tremendous growth over the past four years, from professional skills in acting to dramaturgy to stage management. They each have blossomed in their own individual strengths. The showcase is a terrific opportunity for parents, friends, professors and community to gather and honor the efforts of this talented group.”

The night will feature six graduating seniors:

Matthew Burtless-Creps, a theatre performance major from Adrian, Michigan, will perform scenes from “The Ruby Sunrise” and “Two Gentlemen of Verona” and a Soliloquy from “Romeo and Juliet.”

“I’ve worked my whole four years here at Huntington building up to this showcase,” Burtless-Creps said. “I remember watching the seniors when I was a freshman and thinking how skilled they were. I never thought I’d get to their level. Now I stand where they stood, ready or not, and I feel confident. I may not be as skilled as others, but I’ve learned and become better because of friends, teachers and God. I’m not sure where my life is going to lead, but I feel ready.”

Rachel Ellis, a theatre design and technology major from Joliet, Illinois, will present the opening number with the other seniors singing “Heart and Music” from the musical “A New Brain.”

“I am excited to be on stage for the first time performing along side the other five seniors as well as presenting my design and stage management work from the last four years,” Ellis said.

Kyle Lindsey, a theatre performance major from Napoleon, Ohio, also will perform in the Senior Showcase. 

“It’s been an amazing ride,” Lindsey said. “Of course there are thousands of memories that I would love to speak about: improv moments, line mess-ups, friendships, deep bonding love. It’s all there, forever in my memory.”

Kelly Melcho, a history and theatre performance double major from Marshall, Illinois, will present a soliloquy from “Macbeth,” a scene from “The Ruby Sunrise” with Lauren Sowers and a scene from “The Odd Couple (Female)” with Halli Stewart.

“I’ve been in theater since I could articulate text to the back of an audience,” Melcho said. “But it wasn’t until I was allowed into Huntington University Theatre Company that I could truly experience the world of theater. My time here has been full of incredible highs and hard-hitting lows. The lows got really rough, but I know that theatre is what God wants in my life. My short time in the theatre department taught me something about myself: I will never stop seeking knowledge, looking deeper, and exploring the love I have for the worthiness in the story of anyone claiming to be ‘ordinary.’”

Lauren Sowers, a psychology and sociology double major with a theatre minor from Warsaw, Indiana, will perform “What is this Feeling” from “Wicked” with Maggie Gilliam and “Adelaide’s Lament” from “Guys and Dolls.” She also is acting a scene from “The Ruby Sunrise” with Kelly Melcho.

“Even though I don’t plan on pursuing a career in acting, I have learned so much about life, myself and how to understand and interact with the world from my acting classes and productions I've been involved in,” Sowers said. “Without this theatre department, I would not have developed into the person I am today, and I am so blessed to say that I’ve been a part of it.”

Maggie Gilliam, a social work major with theater and psychology minors from Columbus, Ohio, will sing the song “Disneyland” from the musical “Smile” along with a couple of group numbers and a duet. 

“Being a part of the Huntington University Theatre Company has been such a vital piece of my four years here – a time of growth and strengthening that I never could have anticipated,” Gilliam said. “As I prepare for Senior Showcase and look back on the experiences I’ve had and memories I’ve made, I have come to the conclusion that I am so blessed and humbled to have been a part of the theatre family.”

The production will be held in Zurcher Auditorium located in the Merillat Centre for the Arts. Admission is free and open to the public, and there will be a reception immediately following the showcase in the lobby.