ECU dancer Katherine Corbett, center, enjoyed applying her skills both in dance and in costume design toward the Dance 2015 performance earlier this year. The ECU School of Theatre and Dance was selected for the North Carolina Theatre Conference's College/University Award. (Photo by Cliff Hollis) 

ECU’s Theatre and Dance recognized for excellence, leadership

Dec. 17, 2015

By Jules Norwood
ECU News Services

The East Carolina University School of Theatre and Dance has been recognized for artistic quality, educational excellence, service to the statewide theatre industry and alumni achievement by the North Carolina Theatre Conference.

“The theatre department’s faculty achievements are immense, and the program has produced alumni who have gone on to successful careers in regional theatre, on Broadway, in film and on television,” said NCTC Executive Director Angie Hays. “ECU’s theatre education program trains talented theatre teachers who are making an incredible impact in classrooms across North Carolina and the U.S.”

Hayes commended the department’s students and faculty for participating in events such as NCTC’s High School Play Festival and College Discovery Day, and for its commitment to working with local arts groups including the Magnolia Arts Center, which received NCTC’s 2015 Community Theatre Award.

“It’s quite an honor to be recognized by your state peers as an effective organization and one that makes a strong contribution to the community,” said John Shearin, director of the School of Theatre and Dance.

Community outreach is one of the original missions of the school, Shearin said, and it produces plays, musicals and concerts every year, as well as a children’s outreach theatre and performances in the surrounding area at venues such as the Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, the Paramount Theatre in Goldsboro and the Turnage Theatre in Washington, N.C.

NCTC’s board of directors, a group of volunteers who represent the state’s theatre industry on behalf of prominent organizations and schools, includes ECU alumni Judy Osborne of Union Pines High School and Janice Schreiber of Arendell Parrott Academy. Schreiber, who graduated in 1975 and taught in the department from 1984-2001, studied under its first chair, Edgar Loessin.  She said he demanded a level of excellence and professionalism that has continued under Shearin’s leadership.

There will be a presentation of the NCTC College/University Award on opening night of the first play production in the spring, “Assassins” by Stephen Sondheim, which opens Feb. 25 in McGinnis Theatre.