Marshall University theater company receives $20,000 grant | Features/Entertainment

HUNTINGTON — The Marshall University Theatre company, Theatre ETC!, has received an anonymous grant in the amount of $20,000. The grant will improve the level of production and affordability of the company’s performances, the company’s founder and director, John Colclough, a professor of theater at Marshall, said in a news release.

Theatre ETC! is an educational touring company composed of Marshall University theater students. The company tours to and performs for middle and high schools in the Tri-State area, with an emphasis on stage adaptations of literary classics in an effort to support the public and private school curriculum.

Past production titles include “The Giver,” “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer,” “Fahrenheit 451,” “A Christmas Carol,” “Antigone” and this year’s production of “1984.”

In three years, Theatre ETC! has performed for more than 3,000 students throughout southern West Virginia and eastern Ohio.

Theatre ETC! also offers free study guide materials, post-performance discussions and workshops in improvisation, theater games, movement, voice, playwriting and acting, according to the release.

Theatre ETC! was the brainchild of Colclough and former Marshall Theatre faculty member Nicole Perrone. The goal was to approach outreach in an innovative and entrepreneurial way, with Marshall theater students forming their own production ensemble. Under the instruction of faculty or staff, students design and build sets, properties and costumes, as well as rehearse and perform the shows.

In addition to their duties as theater artisans, students also create production-specific lesson plans and study guide materials.

Aside from the educational impact the company has in the classroom, the company provides a recruitment opportunity as well, both for the theater department and Marshall University.

“Marshall University Theatre is committed to offering enriching theater arts education to both primary and secondary school students while at the same time, preparing Marshall University theater students for a career in professional theater as well,” Colclough said in the release.

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