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Sumter Players has again won Best Play of the Community Theatre Festival of the Georgia Theatre Conference — this time with Athol Fugard’s Exits and Entrances. In addition, at the festival held October 13 at Georgia Southwestern State University, Irmgard Schopen-Davis was named Best Director, Jason Wallace won Best Actor and Ron Fross was selected as Best Supporting Actor.
As the winning entry, Sumter Players will represent the State of Georgia at the Southeastern Theatre Conference in Louisville, Kentucky, next March where Exits and Entrances will compete against plays from 10 southeastern states. This will be the second visit by Sumter Players to SETC , having taken Cotton Patch Gospel to the festival in Alexandria, Virginia, in 2003.
A finely drawn drama, Exits and Entrances is South African playwright Athol Fugard’s exploration of the relationship between an aspiring playwright (Wallace) and an aging actor (Fross) against the backdrop of momentous events in mid twentieth century South Africa. The Sumter Players entry along with entries from Colquitt County Arts Center (performing Graceland) and the Averitt Starrs from Statesboro (performing Overtones) was judged by professional evaluators applying such criteria as believable acting, character interpretation, effective movement and pacing, and the total impact of the production. “Exits and Entrances shows that Americus has got talent — lots of it” said Mrs. Schopen-Davis in accepting her award.
Approaching its 50th season, Sumter Players presents mainstage productions at the Rylander Theatre in downtown Americus — the next being Arthur Miller’s award winning drama, The Crucible, on November 8, 9, 10 and 11. Reserved seat tickets to all performances are available at the Rylander box office, 310 West Lamar Street in Americus, telephone 229 931-0001 or (tollfree) 1 877 662-2312, and online from rylander.org and sumterplayer.org. Groups of ten or more receive discounted rates. Major credit/debit cards are accepted.