SGSC students attend production of Mamma Mia! at the Peach State Summer Theatre
Recently, South Georgia State College students took a trip to see Mamma Mia! at the Peach State Summer Theatre in Valdosta. They were accompanied by Sandra Adams, SGSC interim dean of students and housing and Katherine LeRoy-Lawson, SGSC assistant professor of theatre.
“This trip was especially rewarding because we were able to see one of our alumni perform in the show,” LeRoy-Lawson stated. Chas Pridgen is a 2016 graduate of SGSC and a past president of TheaCo, the student theatre club at SGSC. While attending SGSC, Chas performed in Barefoot in the Park, which was directed by SGSC alumna Anna Braswell. He also served as the choreographer for Timeline, which was directed by LeRoy-Lawson and was the master of ceremonies for a talent show produced by the students of SGSC.
“Chas is a wonderful performer and an absolute joy to watch on stage,” states LeRoy-Lawson. When asked if this was her first time seeing Chas perform since he left SGSC, she said with enthusiasm, “Oh my goodness, no! Currently, Chas is attending Mercer University and has a double major in Journalism and Theatre. He is very active in the theatre department at Mercer and if he is in a show – I am there with bells and whistles.”
The students, Adams and LeRoy-Lawson were able to catch up with Chas after the show and he expressed his appreciation for his SGSC mentor, LeRoy-Lawson. Chas explained, “We have a wonderful, supportive relationship forged in the fires of producing theatre. It’s a bond that transcends mentor and student; theatre creates a special kind of friendship that is hard to create in any other space. Katherine was actually the first person I called when I booked my first professional job. The entertainment industry is very difficult to navigate alone, and having a strong support network is so important, especially since one of the most common words in the industry is ‘no’. It’s a blessing to know that we have each other’s back no matter what.”
The students and staff thoroughly enjoyed the trip. Sandra Adams, the interim dean of students, shares, "We had a great time! I believe it is important to give our students the opportunity to have out-of-class experiences, whether it be attending a musical, going to a conference or taking a class trip to sites that pertain to the course they are taking. For some students, they may have not had the opportunity to participate in such activities. For others, it may help they connect what they are learning in the classroom with real life. Hopefully, for all students, the experiences they have will help them to enjoy and appreciate their time at SGSC."