The purpose of the Catawba College Blue Masque Hall of Fame is to recognize and perpetuate the noteworthy theatre tradition of Catawba College by honoring and memorializing individuals who have made outstanding contributions to this tradition. Inductees into the Hall of Fame must have either, attended Catawba College as a full time student, been employed at Catawba as a full or part time faculty/staff member, or contributed to the success of the Blue Masque by performing outstanding service as a volunteer. The inducted individuals are recognized for their meritorious life in theatre.
Four individuals will be inducted into the 2013 Blue Masque Hall of Fame during a ceremony scheduled at 8 p.m. Friday, October 18 in Hedrick Little Theatre on campus.
Those being honored by the College for their meritorious work in the theatre arts include stage manager and public school teacher Cindy Gudger Baldwin, class of 1973; professional costume designer and professor Nancy Pipkin-Hutchinson, class of 1991; professional playwright, actor, and documentarian of the African-American experience, Mike Wiley, class of 1995; and Shakespearean scholar and Catawba College Professor Emeritus of English Bethany Sinnott.
Cindy Gudger Baldwin has been a leader on the North Carolina theatre scene for 40 years. Her proudest moments have come from her long work with children's theatre. Currently a teacher at the Claxton School for the Arts and Humanities in Asheville, Baldwin, among other responsibilities, directs musicals using over 100 4th and 5th graders.
Baldwin has also stage managed Western North Carolina educational, community, and professional theatre productions for decades, including those at the Southern Appalachian Repertory Theatre, North Carolina Stage Company, and Asheville Community Theatre, where she has directed as well.
Among Baldwin's many other and varied Asheville theatre related activities are yearly responsibilities with their Bele Chere Festival, work with an all-female comedy group, LYLAS, and casting responsibilities for commercials and movies filmed in the area.
Nancy Pipkin-Hutchinson is currently on the faculty of the International Academy of Design and Technology in Sacramento, Calif., where she teaches courses relating to sketching, drafting, construction, and the design of theatre costumes. In addition, Pipkin-Hutchinson is a very busy California Bay Area costume designer.
With theatre graduate study at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor and a Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of California-Davis, Pipkin-Hutchinson has performed professional costume design responsibilities in Sacramento, Calif., for B Street Theatre, Sacramento Theatre Company, Capital Stage, and California State University.
She has also designed for California's Aurora Theatre Company, Sierra Repertory Theatre, The Foothill Theatre Company, Falcon's Eye Theatre, and Solano Youth Theatre, among many others. Pipkin-Hutchinson's professional responsibilities in wardrobe, cutting, shop management, as well as other costume related areas, are extensive.
Mike Wiley is a professional actor, playwright, teacher, and originator of one-man plays.
Wiley, as writer, director and actor, tours his numerous one-man shows to theatres, community centers, and schools throughout the Southeast. With a Master of Fine Arts degree from the professional acting program at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, he uses his many theatre talents to bring audiences to a Montgomery bus boycott or a Jackie Robinson major league baseball game or the trial of the man who murdered Emmett Till.
During this year, the film version of one of his plays took the best film award at the Black International Film Festival. This fall, Wiley has acted in an August Wilson play, as well as started work on the filming of yet another screen adaptation of one of his plays. Next spring, he hopes to create a one-man production in which he will play, among others, John Coltrane, Thelonious Monk and Nina Simone.
Bethany Sinnott taught Catawba College Shakespeare classes every semester for 41 years. She also worked on all but one of the theatre arts department's Shakespearean productions during those years.
Sinnott also served Catawba students as director of the Hurley School of Humanities, chair of the department of English, and director of the college honors program. Among other honors, she was selected for Catawba's Swink Award for outstanding classroom teaching and the Trustee Award for outstanding service to the College.
With faithful attendance at almost all of the Catawba theatre productions over her years, amounting to several hundred, Sinnott was selected to be an honorary Blue Masque member and later made an honorary Blue Masque patron.
Sinnott was recognized by the South Atlantic Association of Departments of English with its outstanding teacher award in 2006.
Immediately preceding the Hall of Fall induction ceremony on October 18th, at 7:30 p.m., current and former Catawba theatre arts students will present a talent showcase in Hedrick Theatre. Tickets include admission to this showcase, the induction ceremony, and a reception following.
Tickets may be purchased through the Catawba College Alumni Office by calling (704) 637-4394.
(Photos by Sean Meyers www.seanmeyersphotography.com)