- To have the ability to work with a Tony Award and Emmy Award winning actress like Cherry Jones, is an opportunity that most actors will never get. This semester the cast of “Doubt” at Bethel University got the opportunity to have an insightful conversation with Jones, who won the 2005 Tony Award for Best Leading Actress for her work in “Doubt.” “To be a college student and to have the opportunity to work with someone who originated the role has left me speechless,” commented Faye Taylor, who is playing Sister Aloysius in the Bethel production. “Her depth and capacity to create a life out of the words on a page gave me an unexplainable inspiration toward acting.” Jones gave the cast notes and shared her elaborate backstory behind the character of Sister Aloysius. Providing a first hand perspective, she was able to prepare the cast for how to deal with the audience, and their reaction to the show. “Play Aloysius rigid and unyielding, and with 100% certainty,” Jones noted. “One-third of the audience will side with Aloysius, one-third will side with Flynn and one-third will be left scratching their head, and that is the beauty of this production.” The play is set in 1964, at St. Nicolas Catholic Church and Elementary School in the Bronx. The crisply-written play focuses on the conversations between Sister Aloysius (Faye Taylor, Senior), the strict school principal, a more progressive and kindhearted Sister James (Chelsea Fuller, Senior) and Father Flynn (Jamie Sullivan, Senior), who is also the new-age parish priest. Once Sister Aloysius suspects Father Flynn of committing a serious crime again the school's only African-American student, Donald Muller, she is determined to have Flynn removed from the school. In his defense, Father Flynn reminds Sister Aloysius “even if you feel certainty, it is an emotion and not a fact.” The audience is also introduced to Donald Muller’s cunning mother Mrs. Muller (Alexis Ward, Sophomore). “I am thrilled for the opportunity and challenge of directing this complex production,” commented Travis McLeese, Director of Renaissance Relations who is directing this production. “I remember seeing the production and walking out of the theatre speechless.” “The cast got the explicit opportunity to see inside the mind of the brilliant imagination of such an acclaimed and experienced actress,” added Chelsea M. Fuller who is playing Sister James. The Bethel cast is set to present the award winning play “Doubt” A Parable, written by John Patrick Stanley September 13 & 14 at 7:00 pm at the Bethel Performing Arts Center. Jones is preparing her return to Broadway in September as Amanda Wingfield in a revival of “The Glass Menagerie,” which had a much-praised run this winter at the American Repertory Theater in Cambridge, Mass. The Broadway run is currently set to run through early January 2014. Tickets for Doubt are $10. All Bethel Faculty, Staff and Students receive free admission with Bethel ID. For more information or to reserve your tickets contact the Renaissance Office at 731-393-0405.
- Nursing students in Bethel’s graduating class of 2013 have received a 100 percent pass rate on the National Council Licensing Examination (NCLEX), which measures the competencies needed to perform safely and effectively as a newly licensed, entry-level nurse, according to Mary Bess Griffith, Director of Nursing at Bethel. The overall pass rate for first-time, U.S.
- Students beginning the Bethel University nursing program this fall gathered for orientation this week. They included (back row l to r): Heather Merrell of Buchanan; Cassandra Laws of Trezevant; Cayla Busuito of Paris; Alex Bearden of Trussville, Ala.; Rachael Perrault of Clarksville; Hannah Potts of Henry; Morgan Gilliam of McKenzie; Jimmie Walker of Bartlett; Lesley Medlin of Camden; and Austen Daniels of Buchanan; (front row l to r): Ndidi Umezinwa of Newark, N.J.; Kaitlin Wood of Dyersburg; Anna Bullard of Counce; Sarah Mann of McKenzie; Shelby Harris of Camden; Amalia Aguirre of Alamo; Teresa Farmer of Bruceton; Victoria Dowd of Eagleville; Deanna Irvin of Ashland City; Melissa Wyatt of Camden; Kyle Trent of Cape Canaveral, Fla.; Brittany Reeder of Hollow Rock; and Christopher Yeater of Newbern.
- Forty-three Bethel students gathered yesterday to begin serving as STAR Leaders during freshman orientation which began today. STAR Leaders are upperclassmen at Bethel who spend the week before classes helping incoming traditional undergraduate freshmen adjust to college life. Star Leaders for 2013 include: Chase Argo, Kardell Ambrose, Dale Babb, Dedrick Brooks, C.J. Cassell, Austin Comperry, Davonte Dawkins, Josh Hayes, Tyler Hickman, Jared Williams, Hunter Louden, Kelby McCaleb, Patrick McGee, Zach Parker, Chris Paulhus, Adam Price, Dewey Swims, Brandon Tubbs, Larry Whitten, Christian Marquez, James Pittard, Hannah Robinson, Audra Wallace, Kayla Kirkland, Liberty Wells, Jennifer Bryan, Devin Lambert, Ericca McCormic, Caitlin Runions, Kayla Daniels, Taylor Johnson, Chelsey Queen, Kristen Lyons, Rachel Johnson, Lindsey Costello, Dora Buzigire, Leah Watson, Summer Winters, Shawna McAdams, Dao Nyugen, Kelsey Wynn, and Ashton Marton. Helpers and Intern are Aletha Lewis, Stayce Whipple, and Caleb Butler.
- New faculty joining Bethel's College of Arts and Sciences who were on hand for workshops and training today included (l to r): James Pask, Assistant Professor of Biology; Kate Wilwohl, Associate Professor of Biology; Mitzie Nelson, Instructor of Education; Antija Moore, Assistant Professor of Psychology; Anna Rinner, Assistant Professor of Biology; and Stephen English, Assistant Professor of Speech-Theatre.
- This past summer, seven Bethel University students worked professional theatre jobs. Erika Blake of Newark, Ohio, Cody Allen of Millington, Chelsea Fuller of Huntingdon, Jacob Estes of Medina, Nick Batey of Charlotte, Jamie Sullivan of Cowan and Joy Pointe of Clarksville spent their summer living the dream of being a professional actor, actress or tech. Erika Blake, who graduated from Bethel this past May, was hired through D & G Entertainment in Charlotte, North Carolina and is currently performing four shows a day. Three of the shows consist of Rock and Roll themed music, and the other show is based on country music. “I have learned that hard work pays off, and to always be yourself. It is better for somebody to hire you for who you are than it is for them to hire you for someone you are trying to be. Stick to your roots,” Erika commented. Following this contract she plans to audition for cruises and for Disney Theme Parks. Although she loves what she is doing, her dream is to move to Nashville and pursue country music. Chelsea Fuller and Jacob Estes played love interests Elle Woods and Warner in the new musical craze “Legally Blonde the Musical” at the Prizery Theatre in South Boston, Virginia. Serving on the tech crew, Cody Allen, Jamie Sullivan and Joy Pointe also spent the summer with the same company helping to produce three mainstage musicals. Legally Blonde performed to twelve packed houses during its eleven-day run. “The Prizery is honored to have had six students representing Bethel University which has become such an integral part of our Professional Summer Theatre program,” commented Chris Jones, Executive Director of the Prizery. “It began last summer with Jacob Estes playing Jesus in our production of Godspell and continues this year with Chelsea Fuller as Elle Woods in Legally Blonde, Cody Allen and Joy Pointe as general technicians, Jamie Sullivan as a box-office manager and with Nick Batey playing percussion. We hope that they all will return in the future! We wish the best of luck to Bethel University and its awesome arts programs!” “Renaissance, The Bethel Performing Arts Experience, prides itself on providing performance opportunities that jumpstart students’ careers,” said Travis McLeese, Director of Renaissance Relations. “These students are a prime example of the caliber of performers we have here at Bethel.”
- Two hundred twenty-nine students graduated from Bethel University during the school’s Summer 2013 Commencement Exercises on Saturday, Aug. 3. Commencement ceremonies were held in the Rosemary and Harry Crisp II Arena on the school’s McKenzie campus, and the Rev. Elton C. Hall, Sr., Moderator of the General Assembly of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church in America, was the speaker. Hall pointed out that with the freedom of being new college graduates comes great responsibility. “With college in your rear view mirror, it up to you to begin making your own decisions,” he said. Hall shared with the graduates two main points. First, he talked about change. “We live in a world where nothing stays the same,” he said. “Change is not merely necessary to get through life – it is life.” Hall also talked about continuing one’s education. “You are not through learning,” he said. “And you can learn a lot from other people.” Finally, Hall reminded the graduates that each of them has something inside that motivates them to get back up when they get knocked down. “It’s not over…it’s not finished until God says it’s over,” he said. Also during graduation ceremonies, recently retired Bethel President Robert Prosser was conferred the status of President Emeritus by The Honorable Ben Cantrell, chairman of the Bethel University Board of Trustees. Students graduated with the following degrees: Bachelor of Science, Associate of Arts, Master of Science in Criminal Justice, Master of Arts in Education, Master of Business Administration and Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies.
- Members of Bethel's Housing staff gathered to prepare for check in for returning students involved in fall athletics and Renaissance. These returning students get a head start on the semester as they embark on practice and rehearsal sessions.
- Note: August 23rd is the last day for traditional students to opt out of the health insurance charge at Bethel. Students with questions or who need help with this should contact Cindy Price, Insurance Coordinator, at 731-352-6923 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- McKenzie native Victoria Motheral has been awarded the 2013-2014 Cumberland Presbyterian Women’s Scholarship to Bethel University. The announcement was made this past June at the Cumberland Presbyterian Church’s 183rd General Assembly in Murfreesboro, Tenn.