Thursday night is ripe for theatrical experiences around Starkville.
A two-for-one theatre viewing opportunity is taking place tonight at the Greensboro Center. The Starkville Community Theatre and the Starkville High School Drama Department have both advanced to the Southeastern Theatre Conference (SETC) in Atlanta the weekend of March 5. Both theatre troops will host their last public performances before SETC at 7 p.m. Tickets are $8 to see both shows.
SCT will perform “The Dixie Swim Club”, which is a story of four friends and ex swim club teammates who gather each summer to continue their friendship and reminisce about the good old days.
SHS’s show “The Purple Fan” will also be performed in conjunction with “The Dixie Swim Club”. The show received numerous awards and accolades at the Mississippi Theatre Association, including first place show, which took place in Meridian Jan. 15 through 17, that earned them the trip to SETC for the first time since 1997.
“With such an honor come many financial challenges,” SHS drama director Mandy Kinney said. “We are able to stretch (our) funds with the help of some grants, student fees and fundraising projects, but with the surprise win at the state competition, we are unprepared for such expenditure. We have a very large amount of money to produce in a very short time.”
The public performance tonight will serve as a fund raiser for both theatre troops to fund their way to Atlanta. SHS is facing a $9,000 deficient after the Starkville School District board of trustees donated one-third, or $4,475, of the cost.
The Starkville Foundation for Public Education has set up a link on their website http://starkvillefoundation.org  through ChipIn, which is a web-based service that simplifies the process of collecting money from groups of people. Those interesting in donating can visit the Foundation’s site, click on “The Purple Fan” logo and follow instructions. The deadline to donate is March 2.
The third community theatre opportunity takes place tonight on Mississippi State’s campus in McComas Hall. “The Diviners” is Theatre MSU’s spring production, which opens tonight at 7:30 p.m.
Director Donna Clevinger is putting a new spin on the way audiences enjoy this year’s spring production. Instead of utilizing the 447-capacity auditorium in McComas Hall, audiences will share the stage with the actors for the first time in Theatre MSU history.
“I wanted the intimacy of a shared space with the actors and audience because it is a very intimate play,” Clevinger explained. “The action happens all over the community, so how exciting to have the audience right there in the action... I wanted the audience to see it from a perspective they would never see it in.”
A set of four platforms will form a square on stage around the actors, which will seat roughly 100 patrons.
“The audience will serve as an extension of the community,” actress Amanda Bobo said.
Audiences are also invited to stand and sit on stage for the full community effect, Clevinger added.
The show runs Feb. 24 through the 26, each night at 7:30 p.m. in the McComas Hall auditorium.