By IGOR TOMESKI
Thirteen Piedmont students are participating in this year’s Georgia Theater Conference, a national theater event where theater professionals and students are given the possibility to audition for Southeastern Conference, which offers numerous working opportunities in theaters across Georgia.
The Georgia Theatre Conference, or GTC, promotes theatrical arts throughout Georgia. GTC consists of five theatre divisions: college and university theatre, community theatre, professional theatre, secondary theatre and youth theatre. The GTC holds its annual convention in mid-October. This year’s Georgia Theater Conference is Oct. 14 and 15.
Participants must pass through a pre-screening audition process and are eventually passed on to audition at the Georgia Theatre Conference. Then, selected actors perform a professional audition package for a panel of three judges. The judges then decide who will be selected to audition at the Southeastern Theatre Conference in March of 2016. Selected students will audition for professional theatre companies throughout the United States, graduate programs, touring productions and summer-stock theatre employment.
Chair of the Theater Department Bill Gabelhausen said Piedmont College has a rich history of involvement with the GTC.
“For the past 20 years, the Piedmont College Theatre Department has been attending the conference as a recruitment effort, focusing on high-school auditions and their interest to pursue theatre arts in a high education setting. I have been very satisfied with the Piedmont College Theatre Department involvement in the Georgia Theatre Conference throughout the years. Many of our students have been passed on to audition at the Southeastern Conference. They are successfully spreading the “Power of Piedmont” throughout the United States landing jobs and/or attending graduate school in Nebraska, Upstate New York, New York City, Arkansas, Missouri, Georgia, Virginia, Alabama, Florida, Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee,” said Gabelhausen.
Gabelhausen explained the importance of Piedmont’s involvement in GTC, emphasizing the real-world experience that theater students gain.
“Georgia Theatre Conference is a ‘coming together’ of the varying aspects of theatre within the state of Georgia. The conference is a true celebration of the art of theatre. Not only is the conference a wonderful opportunity to recruit an incoming class, but it is also a huge benefit to our current college students. While networking with other theatre programs and professionals, the conference also offers workshops regarding professional development for the faculty and students alike. However, there is also a ‘business side’ to the conference, which Piedmont College participants have the chance to learn,” said Gabelhausen.
Gabelhausen said he strongly believes that the Piedmont College Theater Department is ready to take this year’s GTC challenge again.
“We have pre-screened and selected 13 students, ranging from freshmen to seniors, this year to audition at the conference. We are ready. I am looking forward to another exciting experience,” said Gabelhausen.