ACTC Showcases Student Writers and Artists | ACTC

ACTC Showcases Student Writers and Artists

Published on Mar 29, 2017

ACTC will present the 4th annual New Play Festival and Student Art Showcase April 7-9.

Twelve new plays by ACTC students will be performed at 7 p.m. April 7 and 8 and 2:30 p.m. Sunday, April 9 in the J.B. Sowards Theater at the College Drive Campus.

Artworks by ACTC students in spring drawing and painting classes taught by Professor Wendy Fosterwelsh will be exhibited in the front Lobby at the College Drive Campus during the three days of the New Play Festival.


The 12 scenes, monologues, short plays and one-act productions were written by ACTC students in a playwriting class taught last fall by assistant English professor Jonathan Joy, the festival founder and an area playwright. Some of the playwrights will also direct their own works. Other directors include Fairview High School students and faculty and ACTC faculty.

“I am very excited to see this year's crop of plays up in front of an audience,” Joy said. “The student playwrights, actors and directors are all so creative and talented, and they're working so hard to bring this all together. We have quite a few wonderful folks from the community contributing on stage and behind the scenes, too.”

Actors include more than 30 local students and community members. Performers from Paul G. Blazer High School are Dawson Clark Emily Hanners, Caitlin Harvey, Nathan Nishimoto, Haven Scaff and Reagan Williams. A performer from Ashland Middle School is Lucas Gillum. Performers from Fairview High School are Grace Sluss, Hayley Williams, Cynthia Duty, Cristen Brockett and Jonathan Duty. ACTC students performing include Samuel Lucke, Mikaela McDonald and Rebecca Burch of Ashland will also perform.

Other community performers from Ashland include Valerie Biggs, Andrew Potter, Paul Coram, Ethan Darby and Sheila Meade. Additional performers from the Tri-State include Ashley Hacker of Portsmouth, Garrett Campbell of Catlettsburg, Holly Edwards of Catlettsburg and John Scaggs of Grayson.

Plays are written by ACTC students Cody Avery, Janet Woodring, Sarah Diedrich, Gary Brown, Desiree Rayne, Robert Range, Mikaela McDonald, Kelly Vance, Noel McDavid, R.C. Burch, Ashley Hacker and Erin Moore.

The festival coordinator is Sarah Diamond Burroway, director of external relations at Ohio University Southern.  The technical manager is Dave Darby, and the light and sound technician is Keri Jones. Backstage crew members are Cristen Brockett, Garrett Campbell and Morgan Conley, and the box office crew member is Judy Pennington, ACTC Business Affairs Assistant II.

General admission tickets are $5 and will be available at the door before each performance. For more information, contact Joy at or Burroway at


Artworks by ACTC students in spring drawing and painting classes taught by Professor Wendy Fosterwelsh will be exhibited during the three days of the New Play Festival.

“In drawing we practice ‘seeing.’ We learn to see the world like an artist and how to really focus on what is in front of us,” Fosterwelsh said.

“We start with a project of drawing hands, with objects and without objects,” she said. “We also do a gridded self-portrait where we learn to use a grid technique to draw what we see, then add values to create a finished portrait.  We also do a vanity painting which is a still life type drawing that we do in class from life. Our final project is pulling a lot of those ideas together and creating a surrealist style drawing.”

Featured artists will be Jesse Adams IV of Greenup, Gary Brown of Ashland, Elizabeth Burch of Wurtland, Nicholas Cavins of Prichard, West Virginia, Braden Evans of Grayson, Candace Glass of Grayson, Ocean Kovacs of Ashland, Paige Smith of Ashland, Flynn Thompson of Worthington, Tina Webb of Ashland, Rebecca Burch of Wurtland, Shad Caldwell of Ashland and William Eddy of Ashland.

“For the past two years we have done the show with the one-act plays, because Professor Joy and I thought this would be a nice way to showcase the arts we have here at ACTC as sort of ‘Night of the Arts,’” Fosterwelsh said. “Although often the emphasis is on the plays, the art show adds a nice touch and people can see both the visual and performing arts in one night.