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Catawba College Theatre Department to Induct Four into Blue Masque Hall of Fame

October 15, 2020

Category: Academics, Alumni, Theatre Arts

co-bluemasque.pngThe Catawba College Theatre Arts Department will induct four artists into the Blue Masque Hall of Fame at a virtual event during the College’s Homecoming Week celebration Nov. 2-8. An in-person induction is planned, along with the Induction of the Class of 2021, at a ceremony next fall. Specifics will be forthcoming.

Inductees for 2020 include:

  • Scott Burrell, Class of ’94, Director of the Dear School of Creative and Performing Arts, Northwestern State University, Natchitoches, LA.
  • Rae Geoffrey, Class of ’95, Managing Director of the Wortham Center for the Performing Arts, Asheville, NC.
  • William Gillmore, Class of ’85, a Los Angeles-based story Producer, Writer, Editor and sometimes Cinematographer.
  • Christopher Zink, Catawba College Theatre Arts Professor.

This is the 13th year of the event, which recognizes and perpetuates the noteworthy theatre tradition of Catawba College by honoring and memorializing individuals who have made outstanding contributions to this tradition. The honor acknowledges the alumni, faculty, or staff who have made outstanding contributions to the world of theatre. 

bmhof-scottburrell.jpgScott Burrell, before becoming Director of The Dear School of Creative and Performing Arts at Northwestern State University, was the Chair of the NSU Theatre and Dance program for 12 years. He has also been a member of the theatre faculty since 1998. Under his guidance, the theatre/dance program grew its enrollment by 30 percent, established a BFA in Dance, created four faculty lines and was awarded more than $300,000 in grants. He is currently coordinating a $500,000 renovation to NSU's A.A. Fredricks Auditorium. 

He has graduated a number of students who have moved into all areas of professional theatre and dance. Before the pandemic, five NSU Theatre/Dance alumni were on Broadway. His educational background includes a BA in Theatre from Catawba College and an MFA in Directing from Virginia Commonwealth University. He has served in a number of leadership roles at Northwestern, including the University Registrar Search Committee Chair, Grievance Committee Chair, and Vice President of the Faculty Senate. He was also awarded the NSU Faculty Advisor of the Year in 2017.

He is also a member of the Universities of Louisiana System’s Management and Leadership Institute. Institute participants include faculty and staff members from each of the System’s nine-member institutions who have exhibited upper management potential and a desire for leadership development. He holds a Teacher Certification in the Michael Chekhov Acting Technique. In his free time, he enjoys refereeing soccer. 

bmhof-raegeoffrey.jpgRae Geoffrey is passionate about the power of the arts to connect people and build better communities — a passion that was fueled through the excellent training program at Catawba College. The Wortham Center for the Performing Arts serves 55,000 Asheville residents and visitors each year through performing arts programming and services. With more than 20 years as an arts professional, she has worked as a performer, educator, administrator, and theatre manager throughout the Southeast and Chicago. 

She serves on the Board of Directors for Arts NC, is Past President of the North Carolina Presenters Consortium, a representative of the Dance Touring Initiative through South Arts, a Grant Panelist for the North Carolina Arts Council, an adjudicator on the Artsmarket Showcase Selection Panel, a YWCA “Woman of Influence,” a Leadership Asheville graduate and Executive Director Roundtable Member, and an International Delegate to the Atlantic Presenters Association in Canada. She lives in Fairview with her husband, two teenagers, and too many rescue animals.

bmhof-wmgilmore.jpgWilliam Gilmore, after graduating from Catawba, interned as an actor for Louisville Children’s Theater, where he appeared as a Baby Giant in The Brave Little Tailor, a giant Squirrel in The Great Race ,and numerous characters that all met untimely ends in a seven-man production of Macbeth. Before moving to New York, he helped found Southwest Florida’s Theatre Conspiracy while directing and appearing in their inaugural production of K2.

Once in New York, he landed the role of the Count in a national tour of Phantom of the Opera appeared Off-Broadway as the Ape Man in The Island of Dr. Moreau, and performed in an ultra-realistic version of Moliere’s Les Précieuses Ridicules, because – as the director stated – a great playwright like Moliere would never stoop to writing a slapstick comedy.

Gilmore’s directing credits include The Baby Dance, Baby With The Bathwater, Zastrozzi, and James Parker’s adaptation of Moliere’s The Imaginary Invalid. More recently, Gilmore’s work has been as a content writer and producer for companies like Disney, NatGeo, and HGTV, and as an editor for projects with HBO, Paramount, and Universal. His work can currently be seen across the spectrum of cable programming for such series as House Hunters, Dog & Beth: On the Hunt, The Real Housewives of New York, The Real Housewives of New Jersey, and I'm Married to a. . .

bmhof-chriszink.jpgChristopher Zink, who came to Catawba’s Theatre Department in 1995 at Technical Director and Lighting Designer, was “bitten by the Theatre Bug” his sophomore year of high school. He studied Theatre in college before leaving to work as a carpenter for Seaside Music Theatre in Daytona Beach, FL, where he was promoted to Master Carpenter and later Technical Director. He earned his IATSE Union card while working as a stagehand for the Peabody Auditorium and the Ocean Center in Daytona Beach.

He completed his BFA in Scenic Design at Western Carolina University while simultaneously working full-time as a production technician for the newly constructed 8,000-seat Ramsey Center Coliseum on campus. After receiving his degree, Christopher was hired by the University of Southern Mississippi originally as Scene Shop Manager, and was later promoted to Auditorium Manager. Here, he also earned his MFA with emphasis in Theatre Production and Lighting Design. Next, he served as Technical Director and Lighting Designer for the Givens Performing Arts Center at Pembroke University, where he also taught Stagecraft, Lighting Design, and Introduction to Theatre courses.

His theatrical career includes more than 120 Technical Direction credits, 110 Lighting Design credits, 30 Scenic Design credits, and 10 Directing credits. 

He and his family, wife Mary and daughter Katherine, moved to Catawba and Salisbury in 1995. Mary passed away in the fall of 2016. He currently lives in Mocksville, NC, with his fiancée, Ruth Campbell, and their dogs, Scamper and Mila. He is happy to be near his daughter, Katie, her husband Jason, and their son Reed.

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