Fall production marks Elkins’ debut at Milligan

MILLIGAN COLLEGE, TN (October 1, 2009) — The fall production of “A Shakespeare Double Bill: Titus ‘n 2 Gents” marks Dr. Dennis R. Elkins’ debut as artistic director of theatre at Milligan College.

The Milligan theater department will perform the play Oct. 15, 16 and 17, at 7:30 p.m. in Milligan’s Gregory Center for the Liberal Arts. General admission is $8, and student tickets are $5. All performances are open to the public.

“The play is an opportunity to experience the wide diversity of Shakespeare’s genius by juxtaposing one of his most bloody plays with one of his most frothy, comic love stories,” said Elkins, who also serves as an adjunct instructor of humanities at Milligan. “At its most simple, it’s two plays for the price of one.”

Elkins is not a stranger to the Northeast Tennessee theater community. He directed “I Never Sang for My Father” for the Johnson City Theatre Guild in 1981 and “Side by Side by Sondheim” for the Kingsport Theatre Guild. He also has directed numerous productions for the Morristown and Newport Theatre Guilds. In 1993, he conducted a voice workshop for the Johnson City Arts Council.

Elkins taught theater at Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) from 2003 until he joined the Milligan faculty this year. He has also taught at the University of Colorado, Walters State Community College (Morristown, Tenn.) and North Greenville College (Tigerville, S.C.).

Elkins holds a bachelor of arts degree from Milligan College, a master of arts in speech and theater from the University of Tennessee, and a Ph.D. in theater from the University of Colorado. He also completed graduate studies at the University of Birmingham (England). He is currently completing certification as a teacher of the Fitzmaurice Voicework with Catherine Fitzmaurice.

A member of the Actors Equity Association, the Southeastern Theatre Conference and the Voice and Speech Trainers Association, Elkins has presented papers on theater and vocal performance at academic conferences throughout the United States and has received several awards in his field, including the Presidential Fellowship from SCAD in 2004.

Elkins’ first production at Milligan is comprised of abbreviated versions of two of William Shakespeare’s earliest works, “Titus Andronicus” and “The Two Gentlemen of Verona.” He is excited to bring the play to life on stage at the Gregory Center.

“During my years at Milligan as a student, theater performances were in Derthick, the cafeteria and lower Seeger,” Elkins said. “So working in the college’s Gregory Center is a new experience, something from which to create and cherish new memories. I consider myself most fortunate to have an opportunity to work in such an amazing theater, the fruits of the labor of a lot of love from a lot of people over the years.”

Tickets for the performances are available in the Milligan College Bookstore, open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., or by calling 423.461.8733.

Posted by on October 1, 2009.