MC students to participate in theatre conference Oct. 24-27

MC students to participate in theatre conference Oct. 24-27 at Clayton Center

Oct. 7, 2013
Contact: Chloe Kennedy, News and New Media Writer

The Tennessee Theatre Association’s 46th annual conference will be held at the Clayton Center for the Arts on the Maryville College campus Oct. 24-27.

Conference staff will include about 40 Maryville College students, who will work the conference in exchange for attending the conference at no cost.

“Those students will have access to theatre educators and professionals from across the state, so they can start networking with folks who will later help graduates make the leap from college to the ‘real’ world,” said Dr. Heather McMahon, associate professor of theatre at Maryville College.

During the conference, students will have the opportunity to attend workshops in various areas, including acting, costuming and choreography.

McMahon said that one of the most valuable events during the conference is the “Southeastern Theatre Conference Professional Screening Auditions” for actors. The audition involves more than 200 aspiring actors who each have one to two minutes to impress adjudicators to go from the state level to the regional audition, which allows them to audition in front of hundreds of professional theatre casting agents and graduate schools.

“Some of our students will audition, and others will just observe – but even just observing those auditions is a really valuable experience,” McMahon said. “Our students can see what auditions are successful or not and hear the feedback given to those who are auditioning. This helps them prepare for their auditions in the future.”

Since the conference includes the Secondary Schools Theatre Festival, McMahon also hopes that the conference will be a great recruiting tool for Maryville College.

“High school students from across the state will perform in that festival, so we have a great opportunity to show off our facilities and programs,” she said.

Founded in 1968, the Tennessee Theatre Association is the designated statewide organization that supports theatre artists across the state. For more information about this year’s conference, please visit

Maryville College is ideally situated in Maryville, Tenn., between the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Knoxville, the state's third largest city. Founded in 1819, it is the 12th oldest institution of higher learning in the South and maintains an affiliation with the Presbyterian Church (USA). Known for offering its students a rigorous and highly personal experience that includes an undergraduate research requirement, Maryville College is a nationally ranked institution of higher learning that successfully joins the liberal arts and professional preparation. Total enrollment for the fall 2016 semester is 1,197.