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Mathyn Miller: Steppin’ out for the love of dance

Tiaras and grins: Nutcracker dancers are on ‘pointe’

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Table of Contents

Editorial for November

mirth & Matter Editor’s letter

Daily Specials��������������������������������������������������������������������� 4 Calendar����������������������������������������������������������������������� 6-7 The Write Place 2017��������������������������������������������������������� 7 The Nutcracker������������������������������������������������������������� 8-10 The Music Scene ��������������������������������������������������������������12 Connect Crime�����������������������������������������������������������������13 For the Love of Dance�������������������������������������������������� 14-15 An Octoroon�������������������������������������������������������������� 18-19 Wear Your Moustache�������������������������������������������������������19 Souvenir to be performed���������������������������������������������������20 Overthinking It �����������������������������������������������������������������22 Day Trippin’ ��������������������������������������������������������������������24 The Arts Sceen ����������������������������������������������������������� 26-27 Tailgate Tattler ����������������������������������������������������������� 28-29 Thanksgiving Day Traditions ����������������������������������������������29

Behind the Scenes People who make it happen

Angye Morrison, EDITOR 912.489.9402 | amorrison@connectstatesboromagazine.com Hunter McCUMBER, ART DIRECTOR 912.489.9491 | hmccumber@statesboromagazine.com Stephanie Childs, MARKETING MANAGER 912.531.0786 | schilds@connectstatesboromagazine.com Pam pollard, classifieds manager 912.489.9420 | ppollard@connectstatesboromagazine.com Tim Webb, Multimedia twebb@statesboroherald.com Darrell Elliot, Distribution 912.489.9425 | delliot@statesboroherald.com

Angye Morrison Connect Editor

I spend a lot of time talking with people who are extremely dedicated to their art, whether that art be dance, theater, painting, sculpting, pottery…whatever. They all have one thing in common: passion. They all have a clear passion for the art they have come to love, and they want to share that with others. As I’ve talked to so many of these folks, I’ve learned that it’s not just about performing or exhibiting their work, although so many of them do love to do so. It’s more about simply sharing the experience or the feeling it brings. It goes way beyond words. We had the privilege of talking with some very dedicated young ladies for this issue, and think you will enjoy reading about their love for dance and be amazed at what they bring to the stage. We also talked with Mathyn Miller, a young woman who has given so much to the local dance community and continues to not only provide some great performances but to equip up-and-coming dancers for their moment in the spotlight. We were honored to chat with the director for An Octoroon, a production at Georgia Southern that will likely spark some lively conversation. We hope it does. Look inside for what the director had to say about the play, the actors, and the subject matter. We also enjoyed speaking with the stars of a great production centered around the life of Florence Foster Jenkins, who understood the passion artists have. “What matters most is the music you hear in your head,” she said. Indeed. Enjoy this issue!

Jim Healy, Operations manager 912.489.9402 | jhealy@statesboroherald.com Connect Magazine is published monthly (12 issues a year). The cover and contents of Connect Magazine are fully protected by copyright laws of the United States and may not be reproduced, in whole or in part, without the written consent of Connect Magazine. We are not responsible for loss of unsolicited inquiries, manuscripts, photographs, transparencies or other materials. Such materials will not be returned unless accompanied by return postage. Address letters and editorial contributions to Connect Statesboro, Angye Morrison, 1 Proctor Street, Statesboro, GA 30458, amorrison@connectstatesboromagazine.com. Copyright © 2017 by Statesboro Publishing Company, Inc. All rights reserved.

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Daily Specials

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The Write Place Writers Festival 7 p.m

First Friday

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Open Mic Night Eagle Creek Brewing

Live music Millhouse every Thursday, Friday & Saturday evening

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Taller Trees Dingus Magees 9:45 p.m.

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The Arts November 9 – December 16 Annual Juried Competition at the Averitt Center for the Arts This popular exhibition traditionally consists of local landscapes, figurative work and portraiture, as well as narrative pieces and abstracts. Juror and awards judge this year is Jason Hoelscher, director of the Betty Foy Sanders Art Museum at Georgia Southern University. Putting Us on the Map: Georgia and its Coastal PlainStatesboro Convention and Visitors Bureau A unique collection of maps that tell stories about Georgia, the Coastal Plain and Bulloch County. The exhibit will be on display until April 2018. The CVB is located at 222 South Main Street in Statesboro. Give it a Spin! Workshop, 3rd Sunday each month Averitt Center for the Arts For those 16 years of age and up, from 1-4 p.m., this pottery class for beginners covers the basics. Bring a towel with you; all other materials provided. Cost is $25 ($40 for non-members). Paint-N-Party, 2nd Friday each month Averitt Center for the Arts Come and have fun with your friends and your favorite drink (21+ to drink). Price includes a 16X20 canvas and art supplies. Call Tony Phillips at (912) 212-2787 to register. Cost is $35 per session. Betty Sanders Botts: Sacred and Wild Averitt Center for the Arts The Youth Gallery at the Averitt features the artwork of Bulloch County students each month. This month the spotlight is on Mattie Lively and Brooklet elementary schools. The exhibit will be on display throughout the month. An opening reception is held on the first Friday of each month at 5:30 p.m.

The THEATER Wednesday, November 8 An Octoroon, Center for Art & Theatre at Georgia Southern What happens when you are an African-American playwright who wants to write a comedy about slavery by adapting the 19th century melodrama The Octoroon, and most of your white actors bail on you because they don’t feel comfortable? Mature themes and language. All performances begin at 7:30 p.m., except the Sunday matinee, which begin at 2 p.m. There will be no show on Monday. Tickets are $12 general admission and $6 for students. Tickets are available at www.georgiasouthern. edu. Sunday, November 12 Dirty Dancing: The Classic Story on Stage One of Broadway’s most exciting new musicals, Dirty Dancing is based on the 1987 film, celebrating its 30th anniversary. Don’t miss this show in its first American tour! The show begins at 7:30 p.m. at the Performing Arts Center at Georgia Southern University. Tickets are available at www.georgiasouthern.edu. Friday, November 17 The Nutcracker, at the Emma Kelly Theater Beginning at 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 18 and 18, and at 2 p.m. on Nov. 19, join Clara as she battles giant mice, and travels through the Land of Sweets and is entertained by the Sugarplum Fairy. Tickets are $20, and $12 for those 12 years old and younger, and can be purchased online at www.averittcenterforthearts.org or by calling (912) 212-2787. Thursday, November 30 Souvenir, A Fantasia on the Life of Florence Foster Jenkins Join the Averitt STARS at the Whitaker Black Box Theater Nov. 30 to Dec. 2, at 7:30 p.m. each night to explore the life and times of Florence Foster Jenkins, as told by her accompanist Cosme McMoon. Tickets are $16 and can be purchased online at www.averittcenterforthearts.org or by calling (912) 212-2787.

The Write Place 2017 Special to Connect It started as a dream shared by Statesboro Magazine, Georgia Southern’s Department of Writing & Linguistics, Downtown Statesboro and the Averitt Center for the Arts. They partnered to promote Statesboro as The Write Place – an area rich in Southern mystique with a university that’s home to the only Writing & Linguistics degree in the state of Georgia. This year, Nov. 2-4, marks the sixth time The Write Place will be celebrating the literary arts by showcasing eight authors with local ties. On Nov. 3, at 7:30 p.m. at the Emma Kelly Theater these authors will headline The Write Place main event: • Award winning mystery writer Nancy Pickard, author of bestselling The Scent of Rain and Lightning. • L.A. Times Book Prize in History finalist Dr. Jonathan Bryant author of Dark Places of the Earth. • Johnathon Barrett author of culinary memoirs Cook & Tell and Rise & Shine! • Roland McElroy had a front seat to history when he served as chief of staff for longtime Georgia Sen. Sam Nunn. McElroy’s book, The Best President the Nation Never Had, has just been released. On Saturday, Nov. 4, four more bestselling authors will join them in conducting writing workshops from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Averitt Center for the Arts. All attendees will enjoy a workshop by Nancy Pickard and will be able to choose two more to attend from the following: • Returning alumnae from the first Write Place Festival, Tina Whittle, a two-time nominee for Georgia Author of the Year, will be conducting a workshop on the short story. • William T. Morris, fantasy novelist, will deliver two workshops on “Writing Story Worlds.” • Founder and coordinator of Savannah Filmmakers, Mark Ezra Stokes has taught screenwriting workshops for students ranging from elementary-schoolers to senior citizens. • Every story is known by the telling and spoken word author Lawrence Green Jr., a Georgia Southern alumni, delivers his stories by doing just that – telling them. The Friday evening event is free to the public. Tickets for the three workshops, including a gift bag and lunch with the authors, are $60 per person. Register for workshops at www.AverittCenterfortheArts.org. The festival is sponsored by the Savannah Chapter of Sisters in Crime, Statesboro Magazine, the Averitt Center for the Arts, Downtown Statesboro and the Georgia Southern Department of Writing & Linguistics. November 2017

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Young dancers take on dream roles in

The Nutcracker By Angye Morrison Someone once said that dancing is like dreaming with your feet. For two local young women, it’s also like breathing. Madelyn Wolfe and Analisa Harter, both 16, each began studying dance at a very young age. They each began elsewhere, but are now studying at the Averitt Center for the Arts, and will both perform in The Nutcracker this month at the Emma Kelly Theater. And this year, they both get to wear tiaras, something they will happily tell you with ear-to-ear smiles. Harter has been in the production each year since 2005, when she was 4 years old. She’s played an angel, a mouse, a soldier, a garden girl, a Sugar Plum Fairy attendant and an Arabian, and was also a Snow Queen attendant one year, along with Wolfe. This year, she’ll be dancing as marzipan, a flower and as the Snow Queen, a dream role for her. Harter, who is the daughter of Michelle and James Harter, had looked up to Emily Winn, who was a helper in her first dance class at Statesboro School of Dance. Winn danced as the Snow Queen when Harter was an attendant. “I wanted to be her. I thought she was smart and beautiful and talented. And this year, I get to be Snow Queen, so it’s really cool,” she said. This will be Wolfe’s eighth performance in the famed holiday ballet. In addition to her attendant role with Harter, she has played a mouse, a party boy, a gingerbread boy, a snowflake, an Arabian, a Spanish dancer and a flower. When she was in

the fifth grade in 2012, she auditioned for a role with only one request – she didn’t want to play a boy again. What she walked away with was her dream role. Wolfe, whose parents are Kim and Robert Wolfe, was cast in the lead role as Clara. “I used to dance around the house, with Nutcracker curls and a party dress. And then I was cast as Clara, and it was the most exciting thing ever,” she said, smiling. This year, she will be taking on the role of the Rock Queen, a candy cane and the Dewdrop Fairy. Taking on larger roles this year is proof positive that hard work has its rewards, as both young women have earned the roles they have dreamed of playing. Both girls say that dance is a vital part of their lives, and that it has taught them discipline and selfconfidence. “What I love about dance is that it just makes me feel free and it’s another way to express yourself, instead of just words,” said Wolfe. “When I dance it just makes me feel happy, like I just can’t stop smiling.” “I think dance is so much a part of my life and how I am,” said Harter. “I think that dance helps you build confidence, because you have to perform. I have had to give a speech before and it wasn’t a big deal, because if you can perform at the Averitt Center, you can give a speech in front of people.” Each of the girls dances, on average, about 14 hours each week. But with their roles in The Nutcracker, that rehearsal time intensifies. Auditions take

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place in early August, and rehearsals begin soon after roles are assigned, and get more intense as opening night looms. Although dance is an integral part of each of their lives, the two young women have given thought to life beyond their pointe shoes. Wolfe hasn’t decided exactly what she wants to do after high school, but she plans to attend college and hopes to minor in dance, and knows she would like to continue to dance. “I can’t imagine it not being a part of my life,” she said. She spent three weeks last summer in Philadelphia at The Rock School for Dance Education, a spot she had to audition for. Harter also worked last summer, taking classes at the Averitt. She is thinking of majoring in nursing at Georgia Southern University, and thinks she may return someday to perform with the adults in the party scene of The Nutcracker. The cast for this year’s show is large, with about 45-50 people. Both young women agree that it’s a lot of work to prepare, but they are looking forward to the experience. “I just love being at the Averitt Center and just hanging out with my friends all day. It’s tiring but it’s just so much fun,” said Wolfe. Harter nodded in agreement, adding that the dancers have become like a family. “We’re dance sisters,” she said. The Nutcracker will be performed on Nov. 17 and 18, at 7:30 p.m. each evening, and on Nov. 19 at 2 p.m. Now in its 11th year, the ballet is under the direction of interim Statesboro Youth Ballet Director Taylor Ellen. Tickets are $20 for adults and $12 for children 12 years old and younger. Purchase tickets online at www.averittcenterforthearts.org or by calling (912) 2122787.

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The Music Scene • By Brandi Harvey

Try a little ‘binge listening’ in the Boro Where is the support for live music? Local venues are feeling the pinch. With the semester at Georgia Southern University nearly half over, local establishments were figuring the new class would begin to find their “spot” in the local music scene. Each year, owners and managers of local live music venues expect to see a slight drop in sales when summer rolls around and the students head home. Then they see the fall bring back students and sales, and bands count on higher attendance at shows. This year, though, the music scene hasn’t seemed to bounce back like it usually does. It’s a bit like the bees dying off. We know the sales are dropping, we just don’t know why. There’s been some theories put out there, but none can be verified and some were just crazy. Musicians are feeling it, too. Where there used to be packed bars and restaurants and great tips at the end of the night, four-piece bands are closing out the night splitting a 20 in tips and wondering where everyone went. Even Statesboro’s biggest bands aren’t seeing the numbers they once did. As discussed in a previous article, the venues near the college have suffered a massive blow because of the new alcohol ordinances, but how is it that live music venues that are established restaurants are seeing losses in recent months? “Where is the drive to see 12

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live music,” asks Millhouse manager Dale Fagan. It’s a good question. One I’ve been asking myself lately, as well. Thursdays seem to be especially hard hit in the service industry, and with so many options for entertainment these days, “Netflix and chill” seems to be winning out. Friday nights still seem to be attracting crowds of folks who want to unwind and hang out with their friends. Venues tend to feature bigger bands on the weekend because the higher sales help offset the cost of more musicians. That just makes good sense. Weekend crowds can be a little rowdier, too. They want the thumping bass and driving drums. If, like David Lee Murphy sang in the old country song, you’re “looking for a party crowd,” get out there and explore what Statesboro has to offer on the weekends. There is always great music happening around the Boro on the weekend. I’m a fan of Thursdays, though. Statesboro’s local music venues have the right formula. Thursday is a great night for date night in the Boro. Live acoustic acts keep the tone mellow. The ambiance in our venues is more intimate and the crowds aren’t quite as crazy. With the difference in atmosphere and numbers, local musicians are able to interact with the audience more, which is a lot of fun for musicians and patrons, alike. There’s sure to be a romantic ballad or two that make a slow dance with your sweetheart a given. Thursday night is definitely a great night for lovers, young professionals, parents of young children, and the folks hoping to avoid some of the crowds of the weekend. Whatever you’re looking for, Statesboro’s music scene is ready and able to provide, whether it’s low-key mellow jazz, cranking blues, classic rock, or good ol’ country. Social media is blasted weekly with images and videos of the venues and the musicians you can see. Of course, with the digital age, folks are a bit less likely to just get out and explore. But there’s something spontaneous and electric about finding a new place, new music, and new friends, so maybe we can take this weekend and turn off Netflix, put down the phones, and get out into the scene to see what Statesboro has to offer. You won’t be disappointed.


Connect Crime •By Holli Deal Saxon

It’s Not Permanent IT’S NOT PERMANENT – A George Road woman told Bulloch County Sheriff’s deputies she entered into a “temporary intimate relationship” with a man she has known several years. She said the man sends her threatening texts and harasses her as well as her children, since he lives near their school bus stop. RATED “X” IN SPANISH – A Bethel Church Road man was upset when he found porn and nasty texts in Spanish. He told deputies the messages were “harassing and vulgar” and said he did not download the photos, which he said were also vulgar. STRANGE VISITORS – A Mallard Pond Road man called Bulloch County 911 several

times one night, claiming someone “came up through his floors and walls” and entered his home. He said they were in his closet; he saw a light and fired a warning shot into the closet but no one came out. He said he saw someone in a blue hoodie outside his home and heard them “apply pressure” to a window. Her told deputies these events were linked to his vehicle being reported stolen a while back, but it was returned. Deputies found no visitors or evidence thereof. SHE MUST LIKE JAIL FOOD – A female Bulloch County Jail inmate resisted orders and was sprayed with OC spray after striking jailers. She refused to walk when escorted to a

cell, stood in front of another cell where her boyfriend was contained, and further resisted going into her own cell. She was placed in isolation and additional charges were filed against her. SMART MOVE –A female passenger in a vehicle involved in a wreck on Highway 67 ran towards the driver of the other car involved, and struck the female driver, blaming her for the wreck and for her father going to jail. Her actions ensured that she, too, went to jail. ALMOST HALLOWEEN – A resident of apartments on Rucker Lane called Statesboro police to report $30 worth of assorted candy had been stolen from the home.

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“The free soul is rare, but you know it when you see it – basically because you feel good, very good, when you are near or with them.” - Charles Bukowski, Tales of Ordinary Madness

For the love of Dance By Lauren Porter I can’t think of a more appropriate quote to describe Mathyn Miller, who owns Technique Dance Company on Northside Drive in Statesboro. From the moment I walked in the doors of her studio it felt like we were catching up as friends instead of making a first impression. There is something genuine in her character, and the more she revealed about herself in our interview, it became clear that her free spirit and authenticity have played the biggest roles in her success story. Miller started dancing at the age of 3 under the watchful eye of her mother, who owned a dance studio in Millen, Georgia. Six days a week for 23 years, she has devoted her life to the art. “I feel like the time I’ve put in is a big factor for my inspiration. Overall, I knew that dance was always my passion. Even throughout middle and high school when people would ask me what my career was going to be I would say, ‘I’m gonna dance. That’s it.’” After explaining this, Miller was able to 14

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laugh confidently about her dream of being a dancer because she didn’t stop pushing until it became a reality. Aside from her solo performances, she singlehandedly choreographed an entire show at GSU for Chicago, and she has been teaching dance since age 16. Now she teaches around 80 students, ages 3-21, from the comfort of her own studio. She offers ballet, point, lyrical and contemporary, jazz, tap and hip hop. If none of those get you on your toes, she has a class called Turn Stretch Conditioning, which is mostly just cardio with leaps, turns and jumps (she made it sound so easy). “Growing up in my mom’s studio played a huge role in my success. She taught me the business side of owning a school, and all the little things that go along with it. She basically handed down the business to me and now she teaches my baby classes. I wouldn’t want to work with anyone else. We’re the only two teachers here, so it is like a mother/daughter thing. We want it to feel like a family when

our students come because that’s what it is to us.” No doubt that with the support of her family members, Miller has turned her company into a humble abode – a safe place that allows dancers to connect and show how they feel. “We want our students to recognize that sense of closeness and become part of it,” she said. This mindset is the foundation for more than just her style of teaching. Miller puts that same foot forward when picking songs and choreographing her routines. She incorporates her personal style into each move, straying away from the typical cookie cutter routines that you see on mainstream TV shows. For Miller, the steps are original, never copied. “It’s interesting, because hardly any of my ideas come from when I’m in the studio. Most of the time it is just a random connection to a song. I might hear something by Sia, or Florence and the Machine, then I’ll just sit and listen. If I connect to it, I can go from there.


Redesigned With you In Mind

I generally don’t write many things down. If I have to think about the next step then it becomes less authentic. I would rather feel it in the moment and go along with what the song is saying. In that sense, it’s easier for me to explain to my students what I felt when I was choreographing it. I can open their eyes to what they feel when they hear the music and that is one of the most important parts of the process,” she said. Operating under this motif helps to showcase dance as an art, and a way to escape your outside problems. “What I tell most of my kids is when you get in here, you’re doing it for the love of dance, and just moving how you feel,” she added. What makes this studio and its owner so unique is that the expression of self takes precedence over competition. Miller teachers that when dance is the medium, you can let a lot of stuff go simply by putting your emotion into it. Through styles like lyrical and contemporary, students are able to exercise

that freedom of expression and stay true to their “weird” selves. For Miller, the bigger the group, the better the performance. “Group routines get the effect across more,” she said. Having this mentality has certainly kept a ring of authenticity around her students as they climb in number. While Miller has made leaps and bounds in her career, the best is yet to come. She is hoping to expand by next year. “We need more space because right now I’m operating out of just this one floor. Hopefully one day I’ll build a studio. The ultimate goal is to build from the ground up and have it to be mine,” she said. Whatever the case may be, there is one thing about Miller that will guide her in the right direction, and that is her ability to remain true to herself. With a strong support system behind her and a bright future ahead, the world waits patiently for her next move.

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Branden Jacobs Jenkins

Stellar cast takes the stage in An Octoroon Nov. 8 By Angye Morrison What happens when you’re an AfricanAmerican playwright who is directing a production and all your white actors quit because they’re uncomfortable with the material? Well, you play the parts yourself and make the most of what you’ve got. The Octoroon was a 19-century abolitionist melodrama that was popular before the Civil War, written by Dion Boucicault. The play was an instant hit when it opened at the old Winter Garden Theatre in 1859. An Octoroon is a deconstruction by Brandon Jacob-Jenkins, a prominent African-American playwright – and 18

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it will be performed by a stellar cast at the Center for Art & Theatre at Georgia Southern University Nov. 8-15, under the direction of Professor Nicholas Newell. Jacob-Jenkins, known as BJJ in the play, takes on the roles of both the protagonist and the antagonist in the production. “The play is a comedy, but it’s a lot about identity and it deals with a lot of interesting issues of race and identity, and it follows the basic plot of a sort of tragedy,” said Newell. “We step outside of the play quite a bit, and you’re aware of the people who are putting it

on. And that’s where a lot of the humor comes from.” Newell says the play isn’t actually meant to be controversial, but it is meant to spark discussion. “We’re not chasing controversy here at all. It’s actually a quite delightful play. If we can’t talk about these issues, I don’t know who can,” he said, pointing to the diversity of the campus and the theater department. Newell, who directed She Calls Monsters last year, which won nine national awards at the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival, notes the level of talent in the cast of An Octoroon. “We have a lot of alumni involvement in this show. It’s a really terrific cast of some very talented people,” he said. Newell didn’t want to give much of the plot away. “We are simultaneously asking you to be involved in the plot of the original melodrama, but also of the people who are putting it on. They’re sort of separate. Sometimes they’re the same. That’s where a lot of the humor comes from,” he said. Newell said they are providing some new twists. In the original production, there was a cellist on stage. A classic melodrama has music between acts, and in this instance, Newell says they’re giving it bit of a rock and roll edge. “What we’ve decided to do is take some songs that were not originally written as part of the play and we are going to be performing them in between each of these short acts. So there’s definitely an added musical component,” he said, adding that there will be a guitarist, a bassist and a singer on stage. Newell was excited about the work the actors are doing in the play. “You get to see a lot of really amazing transitions. There are a lot of really great transformations. There’s a lot of really amazing physical work that these actors are doing,” he said. Newell says that in the spirit of the discussion that is sparked because of the play’s subject matter, on opening night, a panel discussion will be featured that will include Woodie King Jr., with the Federal Theatre Project in New York City, and local theater legend Mical Whitaker. King is the founder of the New Federal Theatre and the National Black Touring Circuit in New York City, and has produced shows on and off Broadway. In addition to his directing and producing credits, he has also written for numerous magazines, including Black World, Variety and The Tulane Drama Review, as well


as authoring a number of books. Whitaker is a retired theatre professor emeritus, stage director, actor and writer. He returned to Georgia in 1981 following a 20year career in New York, where he developed his own theater company, The East River Player, and produced a nationally syndicated radio show. He directed and/or acted in more than 100 productions during his tenure at Georgia Southern University. Newell says the audience may be a tad bit uncomfortable with some of the things the play asks you to laugh at. “We have a very complicated and sometimes ugly history, and some people might want to just ignore that. But in bringing things out into the open, we can sort of start to pull some of the poison out and start to heal,” he said. An Octoroon will be performed at the Center for Art & Theatre at GSU, and the curtain goes up at 7:30 p.m. each night. There will be a Sunday afternoon matinee at 2 p.m. and no show on Monday. Tickets are $12 general admission and $6 for students, and are available at www.georgiasouthern.edu.

An Octoroon Cast List BJJ/George/M’Closky Tyair Blackman Playwright/Wahnotee/Lafouche Andrew Shepherd Assistant/Pete/Paul Bryce Hargrove Zoe Sam DeRosa Dora Delaney Chesnick Minnie Peyton Rowe Dido Jordan Steve Grace Tushawn Dozier Br’er rabbit Chris Zenn Ratts Maciah Taylor Musician(s) & Singer Christopher Wilson/Tyra Wilson/ Kian DeVine

Wear your moustache in solidarity and style! By Hunter McCumber Every November since 2003, the Movember Foundation has organized numerous fundraising opportunities to help finance efforts designed to improve men’s health worldwide. The foundation addresses some of the biggest health issues affecting men on a global scale, such as prostate cancer, testicular cancer, physical inactivity and mental health disorders. Gentlemen, do you wish to show your support for the cause by displaying a glorious ’stache? Follow this guide! Moustache 101 First and foremost, determine which type of moustache you’ll proudly wear for the next 30 days. Are you more of the traditional or extravagant type? If you’re in need of some inspiration, why not try to recreate the mustachioed look of some famous men in history like Salvador Dalí, Albert Einstein or Freddie Mercury, to name a few? One thing’s for sure: you won’t go unnoticed! What’s more, growing a moustache is one thing, but properly maintaining it is another. For a respectable ’stache, make sure to trim, comb and shave it regularly using the right tools to keep its pristine shape. Visit your barber for a truly polished look! Finally, all that’s left is to share the evolution of your glorious ’stache on social media. The more serious you are about your moustache, the more supportive your followers will be. For more information about the Movember movement, or to find out how you can contribute to the cause, visit us.movember. com. Prostate cancer: the importance of early screening According to the American Cancer Society, approximately 161,360 men will have received a positive diagnosis for prostate cancer by the end of 2017. In addition to being one of the most common

forms of cancer among males in America, it’s the third leading cause of cancer death in men nationwide. Who’s at risk? First, it’s important to understand that a person’s risk of developing prostate cancer increases with age. Consequently, it’s been proven that men 50 years of age and older are more likely to develop the disease than younger male adults. A person with a family history of prostate cancer (a brother or father who had the disease, for example) is also at greater risk. Symptoms For the most part, men diagnosed with prostate cancer experience little to no symptoms in the early stages of the disease. Nevertheless, the following signs are commonly observed in men with prostate cancer: • Frequent urination, especially at night • Difficulty urinating characterised by a weak, slow or interrupted stream • Pain or burning while urinating • Blood in the urine or sperm • Erectile dysfunction • Pain or stiffness in the hips, back or chest Screening Men with a higher risk of developing prostate cancer should get regular health check-ups that include a test for early detection of the disease. The digital rectal examination (DRE) and the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) tests enable doctors to detect the disease in its early stages, thus improving the chance of successful treatment. Men and women who support the Movember Foundation in its quest to help men live happier, healthier, longer lives are called Mo Bros and Mo Sistas. Tests for early detection of prostate cancer help doctors identify the disease in its early stages and increase the likelihood of successful treatment. November 2017

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‘Souvenir’ to be performed at Black Box this month By Angye Morrison “What matters most is the music you hear in your head.” Wealthy New York philanthropist Florence Foster Jenkins spoke these words, summing up not just her life but the musical career she worked so hard to build. Jenkins took piano until the age of 15, when she married 30-year-old Dr. Frank Jenkins, who reportedly gave her syphilis, which was at that time incurable. The pair separated after three years of marriage, and she later moved to New York. Jenkins was known for programming musical recitals, all while she dreamed of being an opera singer. She began to give performances for some of the groups she supported, whose members enthusiastically attended the concerts, despite her awful singing. She died of a heart attack at the age of 76, and reportedly said, in her last days, “People may say I can’t sing, but no one can ever say I didn’t sing.” Jenkins lived quite the extraordinary life – and her story was written as a play, entitled Souvenir: A Fantasia on the Life of Florence Foster Jenkins. The play will be brought to the stage in the Whitaker Black Box Theater later this month. Susan Jackson will portray Jenkins, while Robert Cottle will play Cosme McMoon, Jenkins’ friend and accompanist. The play will be directed by Jennifer Nunn. Jackson has played hundreds of roles since 20

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first becoming interested in the theater in high school. She has played small characters with no lines, and she has played the lead. She has sung opera, and was a soloist with the Savannah Symphony Chorus. She says she hasn’t sung much in the past few years, and is very much looking forward to this role. This production began with the viewing of a YouTube clip. “I saw a clip of it on YouTube and it piqued my interest. I just thought, I’d love to do that. So I began researching it and talked to Robert about it. He ordered the script and it went from there,” she said. Jackson has done a two-person show before – night, Mother. “I seem to be leaning toward these two-people shows,” she said, laughing. She added that this show is unique because in addition to all the dialogue, there is also singing. When asked about singing “terribly” as Jenkins, Jackson just laughs, and says she’s looking forward to it. “I thought I could just sing anything. But what I have found myself doing is learning the songs as they are written, and then just altering them, just messing up the words or the rhythm. Florence Foster had no sense of pitch or rhythm, even her pronunciation of the foreign songs, she just slaughtered them,” she said. She says she alters the pitch and the words, but “in my mind I have to have some sense of

what the song is.” Jackson will sing in several languages, including German, Spanish, French, Italian and Latin. She will end the show singing “Ave Maria,” in Latin. She’s looking forward to getting lost in the character. “She was just fascinating. She was not an arrogant socialite. She was so sincere about it. She had so many charities that she actually gave money to, and she loved music. Music was her life. And apparently, she had no idea she couldn’t sing,” Jackson said. “She was just a dear person.” Cottle will be playing the piano and singing, in addition to the huge amount of dialogue he will deliver. “The whole premise of the show is a series of flashbacks for Cosme. It starts with him in a bar, and he starts telling how everyone wanted to laugh at her and say bad things about her and her singing, but no one really knew her as a person. So he gives a little history, about how their relationship developed over time,” he said. The first act, Cottle said, is mostly him talking with her singing short pieces every now and then. The second act is a lot of dialogue for him, with excerpts of their 20 years of concerts. Of the terrible singing that Jackson will do in her role as Jenkins, Cottle says it sometimes surprises him. “Sometimes it catches me off-guard because she’ll do something completely ridiculous. But she’s a lot of fun to work with and she’s been very helpful to me,” he said. Of his character, Cottle said there’s not a lot of background given about McMoon. “It’s all based on his relationship with her,” he said. “He originally went in for the wrong reasons, and then became very protective of her. He went in just wanting to make money off of her, and then he realized she’s actually a very good person, and that she really cares about music. She’s just not capable of making it.” Cottle, like Jackson, referenced the quote from Jenkins about the music you hear in your head, and says that perception is key. “How you perceive things, that’s your reality. Anyone can really enjoy music,” he said. Souvenir: A Fantasia on the Life of Florence Foster Jenkins will be performed Nov. 30 and Dec. 1 and 2, at 7:30 p.m. each night at the Whitaker Black Box Theater. Tickets are $16, and can be purchased at www.averittcenterforthearts.org or by calling (912) 212-2787.


Overthinking It • By Katherine Fallon

Facing our fears – chocolate in hand I have been discussing with my class a logical fallacy known as appeal to fear, in which someone attempts to persuade you into belief or action (actually, most often to persuade you not to do something) in order to avoid supposedly disastrous circumstances. I ask students what scares them most, so that we can begin to understand how someone might manipulate that fear into a message. Some students are afraid of failing, the inability to get a job after graduation, looking stupid in front of their peers, and disappointing their parents. Others mention snakes, or insects, or air travel, or supernatural beings. A few mention death and devastating loss, and I never quite know what to say to them. Sometimes appeals to fear are not fallacies at all, but warnings against true danger. It is important to know the difference. Lately, I’ve been reading Harry Potter aloud to Nikki, and we just encountered the boggarts for the first time.

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Boggarts are magical creatures that assume the literal shape of an individual’s worst fear. Boggarts have no physical characteristics of their own, but morph into terrible things by accessing each human’s nightmare. For Ron, it’s spiders; for Neville, Professor Snape; and for Harry, the dementors, evil wraith creatures who suck your soul. The joys of children’s literature! In the magical world of Harry Potter, though, there is a way to get past these evils. In the case of the wily boggarts, one must only imagine the thing that frightens them in an absurd light. Because boggarts feed off of one’s thoughts, this imagining translates into physical manifestation, making the vision funny rather than frightening. Ron gives his spider roller skates, for instance, and Neville imagines Professor Snape in his grandmother’s clothing. Although Harry is never given the chance to re-envision the dementor, he learned early on that the way to counteract their ill effects is – lucky him – to eat a lot of chocolate.

I also recently saw It, which felt like a full circle: I watched the original at a Halloween party in middle school, and never quite got over the disturbance it caused. I am not afraid of clowns, but I am afraid of anything that is able to access my brain and use it against me. The clown acts very much like a boggart, though in this case, there is no uplifting response, as the children in the film are tasked with destroying the bringer of fear. For such a supernatural fantasy, It ends in a most realistic way: those fears have been tamped down, and won’t return for a long period of time, but they will return. It is that strange time of year in which we encourage fright, invite the creepy, the terrifying, and bring it into form through costumes and pumpkin carvings, through parties and horror movie marathons. And when we’re done with all that, we eat chocolate, and focus on the distance between ourselves and those fears, in order to survive. We are evolved enough to know that evoking fear of our own volition can weaken it, and so annually, we let it in. For me, it is memory that serves as the taunting incarnation: suffering my biggest fear, a nebulous thing becomes a nebulous thing, and there is nothing to do but look back at it. I allow myself to remember the suffering I’ve seen, so that for some blessed stretches of time, I might not have to. It’s not exactly putting roller skates on it, but – particularly coupled with chocolate – it’ll do.


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Day Trippin’ • By Kenley Alligood

Obscure Georgia I have spent my entire life an hour and a half from Augusta and I have never actually been there. I was aware of it in a vague way (the Masters, Lady Antebellum) and encountered it only in passing (the most I had ever seen of the city was from the highway), but I recently got a chance to visit it for the first time and, honestly, I’m disappointed that I’ve put it off for so long. Augusta is full of restaurants. It seems like there’s a quaint little café tucked in every shop front. From locally sourced organic eats to good ol’ Southern traditional, this town has it all. It’s not short on coffee shops either. Buona Caffe is known for its artisanal offerings and it was named one of America’s Best Indie Coffee Shops by Fodor’s Travel, if that tells you anything. I passed a dozen places where I wanted to stop, but when I researched for this trip I found a place I knew I had to see. New 24

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Moon Café, nestled into a space that on first glance appears to be simply the entrance to an apartment building, is weird in all the right ways. It’s locally roasted coffee and locally sourced ingredients in a space that could only be described as eclectic. The walls are lined with quirky art and the table markers are pictures of famous authors. Your receipt is likely to come out marked “Twain” or “Kerouac.” And there are always people in line. I sat and sipped my coffee for over an hour and the people never stopped coming. That’s how you can tell a place is good. And it was. I’d go so far as to say fantastic, which is the best word I can think of to describe the sausage and kale quiche I had that morning. I also sampled a tomato, egg, and cheese breakfast quesadilla which was delicious (and y’all, I hate tomatoes). After breakfast I took my coffee across the hall to The Book Tavern, a bookstore selling

new, used and rare books. They carry classic lit, graphic novels and everything in between so be sure to stop by. Whether you have a particular title in mind or if you’re looking for some recommendations, the friendly staff is always ready to stop and chat. On Saturdays through the month of November, craftspeople and vendors line the 8th Street entrance to the Augusta Riverwalk. Pick up fresh produce, a snack from one of the many vendors or food trucks, or catch some live music down by the river. Also take some time to enjoy the beautiful green space next to the river where locals jog and bike. The Riverwalk has several gardens and is adjacent to the Augusta Museum of Art and the Augusta Museum of History. As I was leaving the market with a hand-thrown mug I just couldn’t resist, I lady in a green T-shirt clutching a walkietalkie approached. “We’re filming a movie downtown today and we’re looking for extras to fill out a parade scene,” she explained. Police cars blocked off a side street and cameramen stood in the street pointing as they figured out the best angles. The film probably won’t make it to any major theaters, but it just goes to show the vibrant artistic culture of Augusta. Where else can you appear in a Bollywood movie across the street from the historic Imperial Theatre and within sight of a statue honoring Augusta native James Brown? I wrapped up my day at the Augusta Canal National Heritage Area. The National Heritage Area is an urban green space where visitors can kayak the canal, walk or bike on the trails, take a boat tour, or browse the interactive Discovery Center to learn more about the history of Augusta’s canals. Located in the old Enterprise Manufacturing building, the Discovery Center is a well-designed space emphasizing the importance of the canal to Augusta and tracing its social and cultural impact. The hour long boat tours are informative, giving visitors a chance to see historic buildings and landmarks from the surface of the canal itself. The canal is a popular kayaking spot so, besides various species of water birds, you are likely to see a few friendly faces as well. On Nov. 11, Augusta will celebrate Canalfest, a celebration of all the canal has meant to Augusta since its conception in 1845. Events will include live music, fishing and kayaking demonstrations, raffles and local food trucks. Whether you’re familiar with Augusta’s charms or, like me, you never really thought anything of it, I encourage you to take some time in this underappreciated little city and just soak it all in.


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Photo 1: A smitten Ichabod Crane (Davis) woos the beautiful Katrina Van Tassle, played by Grace Ann Jerrell.

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Photo 2: Ichabod Crane (Davis) and trusty horse Gunpowder (Alex Shroyer) are confronted by the Headless Horseman, played by John Marsh. Photo 3: The cast kicks off a ball with the dance steps from Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.” Photo 4: Zac Davis leads the cast in the “Thriller” dance production. Photo 5: Ichabod Crane, portrayed by Zac Davis, is haunted by the Woman in White (Mackenzie McGrath) on his fateful ride during the Averitt Center for the Arts Youth Theater production of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, directed by Bethany DeZelle.

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arts seen The Arts SEEN! Send photos, along with information about the event, as well as the names of those pictured, to amorrison@connectstatesboromagazine.com.

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Tailgate Tattler • By Chandler Avery

Checking the chilly temp at Paulson The dictionary defines the word tattle as “idle talk.” If that’s the case, I truly fit the mold of a Tailgate Tattler. My name is Chandler Avery, and I am proud to take over the reins of this column that I have read since my freshman year at Georgia Southern. Approximately 15 months ago I found myself having to repeat the answer to the same questions regarding the NCAA’s investigation into Georgia Southern, so I decided to write an in-depth answer 28

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to the situation, and posting it on some throwntogether Word Press site I made. After sending the post to folks, mainly family, I started to realize that I enjoyed writing about Georgia Southern, and wanted to continue to do so. I never had any intention of anything coming from my blog posts, but it was something I continued out of the sheer purpose of pleasure, and hope to continue for the foreseeable future.

Flash forward to this October, and the best part of the year in homecoming has quickly arrived. This was my fourth homecoming as a student, and having run for homecoming duke in the past, I was quite familiar and excited for all the festivities. Friday afternoon rolled around and for the third year in a row I found myself on a float in the parade around Sweetheart Circle, throwing out T-shirts and waving to all of the students, faculty and friends. It always is a fun day, as classes are cancelled after noon on the Friday the duke, duchess and homecoming court are announced, and folks gear up for the homecoming football game. But there was one comment that a family made that I happened to overhear Friday afternoon. “This parade and party is really nice. It begins to take our minds off the football game at least for a few hours.” To hear this quote made me stop in my tracks, and I began to say something, but could only stop and observe the people around me who all felt the same way. When you search the history of the tradition of homecoming, you will find that the idea and tradition started in 1911 at the University of Missouri, and was based around the football game they were playing. The original purpose of this event was to reignite, or rather build the momentum around the football team, and that is not what I was seeing this week. On Saturday, I woke up bright and early, just as I do on every game day, ready to rock and roll. The tailgate breakfast of eggs, sausage, grilled biscuits, and mimosas were ready to be served as Lee Corso and the ESPN College Gameday crew signed on from James Madison. There was some excitement when Corso picked Georgia Southern as his Saturday Superdog, and the ESPN crew highlighted our Erk Russell alternate jerseys, but still the dull grey skies ultimately summed up the mood in the early morning. I was looking forward to heading to True GSU and Woody’s Shirts and Scrubs, where Adrian Peterson, Jayson Foster and Terry Harvin all were signing autographs and having a meet-and-greet with fans. It was really cool to see some of the memorabilia folks brought in for these Eagle greats to sign, including one fan who brought a Foster jersey from his times at both the Miami Dolphins and the Baltimore Ravens. Being able to see a good showing of Eagle Nation, both young and old, gave me some hope of the turnout being at least respectable regardless of the worst start for Georgia Southern since 1941. Much to my chagrin however, I was under-impressed at


the turnout in the Paulson parking lot. The Avery tailgate spot has been spots 3941 in rows L and M. That has been the case ever since I was born, and before Georgia Southern even marked the spots with letters and numbers. If there’s one thing I can count on, it is these spots being occupied four hours prior to game time, as it was on Saturday. The same could not be said for our tailgate neighbors, and several of the parties around us, as the parking lot was green in the vast majority of the spaces. I won’t go out and say it was as empty as the Wednesday night ESPN matchup against the Red Wolves of Arkansas State, but it was without a doubt the worst Saturday turnout for a game in a long time. But, just like every other game day, the police sirens grew louder and the True Blue lined the center walkway, where the team, wearing the alternate jerseys, began their passage from the yellow school bus to Paulson Stadium. The different was the lack of effort it took for me to get up close to the team. The lack of enthusiasm, though certainly justified, was apparent in the fans. As usual, I made my way up the hill into Paulson just before the team made their grand entrance, and worked my way to the covered seats, more commonly known to Eagle Nation as the Beer Garden. There I found yet another Eagle legend, Joe Ross. Now for those of you who aren’t as versed in Georgia Southern football history, Joe Ross is currently the fourthhighest rusher in Georgia Southern history, accumulating more than 3,875 yards along with two national titles. Joe stood the entire first half with me and my father, conversing about everything from the weather to the current state of Georgia Southern athletics. I thought it was the coolest thing to be able to just chat it up with such a great athlete, and an even better person. Situations like that serve as reminders of just how cool it is to be a part of Eagle Nation. The result of the game, as many of you know, was not what we True Blue wanted, and we were hard-pressed to find a positive takeaway, unless you consider the idea that the Eagles “won” the first half. It looks gloomy moving ahead to the gauntlet of Georgia State, App State, South Alabama and Louisiana (formerly Louisiana-Lafayette), all staring down the Eagles in the month of November, but to takeaway a positive, Eagle basketball is about to kick up! Anyhow, I am looking forward to this adventure with Connect Statesboro, as well as all of you wonderful readers, and just remember what Erk Russell once said: “Do, Right.”

Thanksgiving Day traditions you may want to steal Special to Connect A traditional turkey dinner with all the trimmings is on the menu, and everyone’s eagerly anticipating the annual family touch-football tournament. There’ll be the Macy’s parade on TV and you’ll even stream A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving for the kids. But if you’re looking to incorporate a little something extra, or perhaps even start a new Thanksgiving tradition, then consider the following ideas for inspiration: Sign the tablecloth Get your family members to scrawl their signatures with thin, permanent markers on the tablecloth of your choice. Afterwards, you can embroider the signatures with black or colored thread. Each year following, display it during the holiday season and add new signatures as your family grows. Your holiday tablecloth will become a unique family keepsake to treasure. Serve gratitude rolls When they arrive at your party, have guests write down something they’re thankful for on a piece of parchment paper. Wedge these inside your unbaked dinner rolls and serve at supper once cooked. Each guest can then read the paper from their dinner roll for all to appreciate. You

can even try to guess who wrote what. Set up a photo booth Picture-taking booths equipped with costume components and fun backdrops are all the rage at weddings, birthday parties and more. Why not have one at your Thanksgiving event? Some fun things to include might be pilgrim hats, turkey beaks, caption bubbles, cornucopias, harvest vegetables and baskets of seasonal fruit and nuts. Try turkey bowling Great for families with young children, this activity converts kiddie bowling pins into turkeys. Simply have your little ones stick craft feathers (three to five is a good number) to the base of each pin and googly eyes and orange triangles (for the beaks) to the top part of the pins, and then play as you normally would. Start a blessing box Family members sharing a household can keep a blessing box. For the month of November, invite everyone to write down one thing every day that they’re grateful for on a slip of paper and then deposit it in the box. On Thanksgiving, take turns reading the slips, and marvel at the many things your family has to be thankful for. November 2017

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