Pellissippi State Community College’s Blount County Campus will celebrate Shakespeare — and the 400th anniversary of his death on April 23 — with a two-day festival that is open to the community.
“The Bard at Blount: A Celebration of Shakespeare” will explore how Shakespeare went from being a playwright to being the playwright, and how Shakespeare remains relevant in today’s modern culture. The free event will feature Pellissippi State faculty members Jennifer Horn, Kelly Rivers and Amanda Carr-Wilcoxson delivering lively lectures about Shakespeare’s life and works, as well as performances of iconic Shakespearean scenes by Pellissippi State acting students.
Beginning at 2 p.m., April 19, Carr-Wilcoxson and Rivers will present “Accidental Icon: Shakespeare in History and Culture.” Beginning at 3 p.m., April 20, Horn will present “Renew, Reuse, Recycle: Shakespeare Today.” Horn’s lecture will include a performance by fellow faculty member Grechen Wingerter’s Acting I class.
Each day’s events will be held in the West Chevrolet Auditorium, and Shakespeare birthday cake will be served following both. The Blount County Campus is located at 2731 W. Lamar Alexander Parkway.
To request accommodations for a disability at this event, contact the executive director of Equity and Compliance at 865-539-7401 or firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information, visit www.pstcc.edu or call the Blount County Campus at 865-981-5300.
Download this press release: Bard at Blount
Pellissippi State Community College’s Marketing and Communications Office recently earned national recognition for poster design in the National Council for Marketing and Public Relations Paragon Awards.
Pellissippi State earned a Silver Award for the design of a poster for “She Kills Monsters,” a play by Qui Nguyen that premiered last fall at the college. The poster depicted the dragon Tiamat, a classic villain in the roleplaying game Dungeons & Dragons, which was a central tenet of the play.
Pellissippi State was the only college in Tennessee to earn a Paragon Award from NCMPR this year. NCMPR presented gold, silver and bronze awards in 53 categories at the Paragon Awards dinner and ceremony in March. Some 236 colleges submitted a total of 1,773 entries to the contest.
“I’ve been playing Dungeons & Dragons since I was a kid, so when this project came my way I couldn’t wait to get started,” said designer Mark Friebus, creative project coordinator at Pellissippi State. “I initially wanted to mimic the iconic art from the game, but ultimately was inspired to make something completely original that could stand on its own as art.”
Friebus drew all of the poster elements by hand, including the female figure, the dragon, the clouds and the flames.
The poster’s fantastical quality is continued through the use of bizarre colors in the purple clouds and orange ground, pulling the viewer into a strange and colorful fantasy land. Extending the female figure’s shadows — as well as the shadows of the iconic Dungeons & Dragons dice — not only creates depth within the poster, but reinforces the sense of struggle between the female figure and the dragon.
NCMPR annually presents Paragon Awards to recognize outstanding achievement in communication at community and technical colleges. It’s the only national competition of its kind that honors excellence exclusively among marketing and PR professionals at two-year community and technical colleges.
For more information, visit www.pstcc.edu/mc or call 865-694-6400.
Download this press release: NCMPR Monsters Poster
Gun thugs. Activism. Social justice.
These are some of the themes — still relevant today — that will be addressed during the world premiere of the original play, “Which Side Are You On: The Florence Reece Story,” April 15-17 and 22-24 at Pellissippi State Community College.
The play is written by Pellissippi State’s Writer-in-Residence Edward Francisco and is directed by Grechen Wingerter, assistant professor in Liberal Arts. It is a fictional retelling of the life of Florence Reece, an American social activist, poet and folksong writer.
The daughter and wife of coal miners, she penned the song “Which Side Are You On?” during the Harlan County War, a decade-long battle in the 1930s between coal miners and union organizers on one side and the coal companies, gun thugs and law enforcement officials on the other. The war included a series of strikes, skirmishes, bombings, executions and the occupation of Harlan County by both state and federal troops. Reece’s song became a social justice anthem after Pete Seeger recorded it in 1940.
Tickets are $12 for adults and $10 for seniors and students and are available at www.pstcc.edu/tickets. Show times are 7:30 p.m. April 15, 16, 22 and 23 and 2 p.m. April 17 and 24.
“This will be a very different play than what people are used to because of the scope of it,” said Wingerter. “The play has a huge, epic scope over decades and follows multiple characters. Plus the content of the play itself is all about social change and workers’ rights. We’re pushing the play to the max.”
Wingerter sees parallels between the social activism of the Harlan County War’s battle between coal miners and coal companies as reflective of similar confrontations still happening today.
“Florence Reece and her husband, Sam, wanted life to be fairer and more equitable for everyone, not just coal miners. Her song has been used in social justice movements since it was written in the 1930s,” Wingerter said.
The ensemble cast of 27 includes a number of Pellissippi State students as well as local children, high school students and other community and professional actors. The style of directing, based upon Bertolt Brecht’s concept of “epic theatre,” will include unusual features for plays, such as image projections and actors in the audience.
“Which Side Are You On: The Florence Reece Story” is one of the events that make up The Arts at Pellissippi State, a series of cultural activities including music, theatre, international celebrations, lectures and the fine arts. The play also is part of this year’s Common Academic Experience, a shared reading experience that includes class curriculum and extracurricular activities and events. This year’s Common Book is “The United States of Appalachia” by Jeff Biggers.
Additionally, “Which Side Are You On” is sponsored by an Arts Builds Communities grant administered by the Tennessee Arts Commission.
For more information, visit www.pstcc.edu/arts or call 865-694-6400. To request accommodations for a disability at this event, contact the executive director of Equity and Compliance at 865-539-7401 or email@example.com.
Download this press release: Florence Reece at PSCC
Pellissippi State Community College will hold its final musical performance of the year April 28. The Spring Choral Concert will feature musical performances by the college’s students in Concert Chorale and Variations Ensemble. The free concert will begin at 7 p.m. in the Clayton Performing Arts Center, 10915 Hardin Valley Road. The concert is part of The Arts at Pellissippi State, which brings to the community cultural activities ranging from music and theatre to international celebrations, lectures and the fine arts. For more information, visit www.pstcc.edu/arts or call 865-694-6400. To request accommodations for a disability at this event, contact the executive director of Equity and Compliance at 865-539-7401 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The work of Pellissippi State Community College students in the Communication Graphics Technology program will be on display at the CGT Student Design Showcase April 18-May 1. A reception will be held from 4-8 p.m. April 21, giving community members the opportunity to meet students and discuss their design work. The free exhibit and reception will be held in the Bagwell Center for Media and Art, 10915 Hardin Valley Road. Gallery hours are 10 a.m.-6:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. The exhibit is part of The Arts at Pellissippi State, which brings to the community cultural activities ranging from music and theatre to international celebrations, lectures and the fine arts. For more information, visit www.pstcc.edu/arts or call 865-694-6400. To request accommodations for a disability at this event, contact the executive director of Equity and Compliance at 865-539-7401 or email@example.com.
Pellissippi State Community College will hold a non-credit course on dueling banjos through May. “Dueling Banjos for the Adult Beginner” is open to anyone over age 13 and will be held 6-7:30 p.m., Tuesdays, April 12-May 17 at the college’s Strawberry Plains Campus, 7201 Strawberry Plains Pike. Class participants must provide their own banjo. Cost is $99 plus additional materials fee. For more information or to register, call Pellissippi State Business and Community Services at 865-539-7167. To request accommodations for a disability at this event, contact the executive director of Equity and Compliance at 865-539-7401 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Download this press release: PSCC Briefs Concert_Showcase