Theatre students land roles in Lexington shows

WILMORE, KY—Asbury College theatre students will have special acting opportunities after the holidays. Junior Eric Henninger will perform the role of Pa Joad in “Grapes of Wrath,” a University of Kentucky production, and junior Taylor Darden, senior Sarah Matthews and freshman Gex Williams have won roles in Actor’s Guild of Lexington production of “The Waiting Room.” 

Eric Henninger
Eric Henninger

Henninger, a double major in media communication with an emphasis in film studies and theatre and cinema performance, received his role after gaining the attention of the director at previous auditions. Henninger initially didn’t audition for the play because he knew that the UK production wouldn’t be pulling actors from outside the department. However, a couple of days after the auditions, he got a call from the director offering him the role of Pa Joad.

“The training that I’ve been receiving here at Asbury from the very capable Prof. Jeff Day (assistant professor of theatre) has certainly brought my acting to a new level,” Henninger said. “When I do audition, I feel more prepared and confident than I did previously and I feel more confident about this role in ‘Grapes of Wrath’ as a result of my involvement in Asbury’s theatre and cinema performance program.”

To see the "Grapes of Wrath":
When: February 19-21, 26-28, March 1
Where: Guignol Theatre in the UK Fine Arts building. 
Time: All plays are at 7:30 p.m. with Sunday matinees at 2 p.m.
Cost:  Tickets: $15 adults, $10 seniors and UK Faculty/Staff, $5 students.

Sarah Matthews
Sarah Matthews

Matthews, Williams and Darden landed their roles through mock auditions in one of their courses at the College. Just so happen the artistic director for the Actor’s Guild of Lexington liked what he saw and offered the students roles in “The Waiting Room” by Lisa Loomer. Matthews, a double major in theatre and cinema performance, and music, will be playing the role of “Forgiveness from Heaven,” a Chinese woman with bound feet.

“I am extremely excited to be working in my first professional show and I am so grateful that the Lord has decided to use me in such a way,” Matthews said. “Prof. Day is one of the greatest mentors of my life. He pushes me and challenges me like I’ve never experienced and he expects great things from each of us. Amongst other things, the auditions class that he offered this semester has played a huge role in the vast improvement of my auditioning skills.”  

Gex Williams
Gex Williams

Williams and Darden won roles as the production’s two orderlies. Williams, a double major in media communications, and theatre and cinema performance, said, “I believe that God is calling me to a career in the film industry. The reason this all happened is because of Prof. Day. He has done so much with this program, I wouldn't even consider staying here if it weren’t for Prof. Day. He is a totally amazing man who is 100 percent committed to preparing and teaching us to do quality work as effective Christians in the real world.”

To see the “The Waiting Room”:
When: March 12-April 5
Where: Downtown Arts Center in Lexington
Time: All plays are at 8 p.m. with Sunday matinees at 2 p.m.