NCAT Theatre Hosts Auditions for 2017-2018 Productions
North Carolina A&T State University’s Theatre Arts Program held it’s auditions for the 2017-
2018 season this past week. The theme for this year’s productions are “season of new ways, but
love stays.” This year, there will be a special subscriber deal for A&T faculty and staff. All
weekly show performances start at 8pm with 3pm weekend matinees.
The anticipation for the productions has been permeating throughout the department as summer
came to close and the school year began. There was a mix of excitement and optimism in the
theatre students as they prepared to audition for this year’s upcoming shows.
“The productions this year are undoubtedly interesting. We have a diverse pick. I think some of
the productions will take us out of our comfort zone as actors such as Detroit ‘67. We will be
able to relive certain times again. So I am very excited about that,” said Junior Theatre Arts-
Performing student, Bria Smith.
Even the theatre department faculty ecstatically and animatedly talked about the potential growth
of their students with these productions.
“What I am most anticipating for is the finished product. The culmination of all the rehearsals
and technical processes and then actually getting a chance for us to convey our ideas and
thoughts about this play to the audience,” said Faculty Scenic Designer, David Tidwell.
The first play, which will premiere on October 19, is Mississippi Born & Bred.
This coming-of- age play centered around Mock. A 13 year old girl living in Clarksdale,
Mississippi during the historic “March Against Fear” campaign. Mock is struggling to cope with
the brutal murder of her father while also dealing with the challenging transitioning into
womanhood. The production will feature award-winning New York actress, Jhonni Lee, in thelead role of Miss Emma.This year’s musical, Sanctified, was written by Javon Johnson who will be serving as a guestdirector for the production. Set in a small church in South Carolina, Sanctified is centered arounda new pastor and his cousin who arrive in an attempt to move the congregation in a new directionwith a revival in plan. This piece will feature various musical genres such as; gospel, hip-hop aswell as dancing and humor. Sanctified is set to close 2017 with a November 30 premiere date.Marcus; or the Secret of Sweet gives its audience a controversial subject matter mixed withhumor and the exploration of self. This play was also written by Theatre Arts Chairperson,Darius Omar Williams. Set in a fictional town in the Louisiana bayou, 16 year old Marcus isstruggling to come to terms with his sexuality. Through dreams, his best friend Osha andspeculation in town in relation to his deceased father, Marcus continues his quest in search forwhat it means to be “sweet.”“Although subject matter is serious and for mature audiences only, the play turns this sensitivesubject matter into something delicate that is permeated with humor, dance and ritual,” said NCA&T Theatre Arts Chairperson, Darius Omar Williams. Marcus; or the Secret of Sweet willdebut in the Paul Robeson Theatre on February 15, 2018.The last production of the school year will be Detroit ‘67. Set in the title time and place, thestory centers around siblings Lank and Chelle as a run an illegal after-hour club to make endsmeet during the infamous Detroit Riots. Tensions arise when a mysterious woman enters theirlives as the streets explode with racial tensions. The final play that will close the 2017-2018subscription season, will premiere on April 12, 2018.With the anticipation of these highly energetic and moving productions, theatre students arehoping that not only the community, but the student body will come and support them.“I want them to know that although we are a hidden gem we don’t have to be. The audiencemakes up the theatre so their support is very needed. Without the audience, we don’t have atheatre so come out and support us,” Smith said.