By Kim Condon
In a bold move that saw the BPCC Cavalier Players venturing beyond their Louisiana roots, the spotlight recently shone on their production of Jeffrey Hatcher’s “Scotland Road” in the heart of Chicagoland. Collaborating with the esteemed Canterbury Summer Theatre from Michigan City, Indiana, this theatrical escapade provided BPCC Theatre students with a hands-on experience in touring and staging a live play.
The play revolves around a mysterious incident – a young woman dressed in nineteenth-century garb discovered floating on an iceberg in the vast North Atlantic. With just a single word, “Titanic,” escaping her lips, the mystery deepens as she cryptically refers to a place called “Scotland Road.”
Guided by Dr. Ray Scott Crawford, Director of Scotland Road, and Artistic Director of Canterbury Summer Theatre for over 38 years, the play showcases the talents of BPCC Theatre actors and students Blaine Fultz, Sarah Noelle Foster, Riley Burns, and Lauren Holland. The logistical aspects were in capable hands too, with recent graduate Johnathan Houghes managing the stage, supported by talented freshman Brody Hines. Contributions from David White, the Technical Director, and Jim Boyter, the Properties Designer, ensured the seamless execution of this traveling production.
“Being able to reconstruct the set in new environments can be challenging, but also a wonderful learning opportunity for aspiring technical production professionals,” said Houghes.
Dr. Crawford emphasized the synergy of the collaboration, noting, “For eighteen summers, BPCC and Canterbury have come together to create outstanding productions. This year was no exception, offering our students a platform to shine professionally while enriching Canterbury’s esteemed season.”
Stepping into a leading role, Blaine Fultz shared his enthusiasm, saying, “I’m on track to graduate this December with my theatre degree,” said Blaine Fultz. “This experience has truly enhanced the performance opportunities I’ve been a part of at BPCC. It’s challenged me to apply the skills I’ve acquired over my time on campus and has been an incredible journey that has put my acquired skills to the test.”
Sarah Noelle Foster, who portrayed Halbrech in the production, added her perspective, “The fact that BPCC gave me the chance to go to Canterbury really makes me feel like furtherment of my career is a priority. Plus, it was so much fun!”Beyond the compelling performances, the journey encompassed an intensive rehearsal process culminating in three captivating shows. Amid the iconic urban landscape of Chicago, the students also had the chance to explore renowned landmarks and immerse themselves in the five-time Tony-nominated musical, “Rock of Ages,” at Chicago’s historic Mercury Theatre in the lively Wrigleyville neighborhood.
The reverberations of this successful collaboration extend far beyond the spotlight. Plans are already in motion to continue this tradition in the upcoming summers. BPCC’s theater program thrives on such enriching partnerships that nurture the aspirations of future theater professionals.
The BPCC Theatre Program, based at Bossier Parish Community College, provides an encompassing platform for students to explore their creative potential. With a commitment to excellence and innovation, the program equips students with hands-on experiences that pave the way for thriving careers in the performing arts.
On the other end of this creative partnership stands Canterbury Summer Theatre, a cultural cornerstone in the Chicagoland area for over five decades. It proudly holds the distinction of being one of the longest continuously producing Summer Stock theaters in the Midwest, consistently upholding its reputation for artistic excellence.
As the curtain closes on this memorable chapter, one thing remains clear: the collaboration between BPCC Theatre and Canterbury Summer Theatre has not only brought riveting performances to the stage but has also elevated the learning curve for the next generation of theater enthusiasts, leaving an indelible mark on the landscape of performing arts education.