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Senior Conservatory to feature theater focused on the 1980s

Nov 9, 2017

With this fall’s Senior Conservatory theme of “Decades,” Flagler College Theatre Arts students are preparing to showcase their talents through personal accounts from the 1980s, tackling the topic of the New Millennium or overcoming obstacles millennials face.

Senior Conservatory is a 6-credit, semester-long course in which senior Theatre Arts majors master all aspects of producing a show, including selecting a piece and obtaining rights, casting and directing, set construction, light and sound design, costuming, and publicity. This course acts as the senior capstone course for the Theatre Arts Department at Flagler.

Student Nicole Payne’s production of “Welcome to the Moon” by John Patrick Shaley will follow the private lives of a handful of New Yorkers set in a 1980s Bronx bar. Payne appreciates the piece and looks forward to bringing it to life on Flagler’s stage. “The plays of [Shanley] deal with the variety and intensity of human emotion,” she said. “It has been both fun and rewarding to direct a play that expresses the meaning of these characters’ lives.”

Student Brian Mathews will present “Only We Who Guard the Mystery Shall be Unhappy” by Tony Kushner. Written in response to the invasion of Iraq, this piece takes a dynamic look at the American politics of the day. “Kushner has crafted a defiant and moving example of political theatre,” he said. “He refuses to take the easy way out. Kushner always encourages the audience to ask the same massive questions the characters are asking. The result, I think, is very impactful.”

Finally, students Austin Satinsky and Kelsee Russler are the creators and directors of “Epilogues: A Song Cycle.” This performance will showcase various music theater singers as they perform songs united by a common theme: embracing the new challenges life presents us. “Conservatory has needed a musical aspect for a long time, and I’m grateful that Kelsee and I could be the first people to introduce that,” Satinsky said. “I hope the community enjoys it.”

“This particular Conservatory is unique because it incorporates original work, multimedia elements, and, for the first time, live music,” Mathews said. “Through completion of this project, Flagler College Theatre Arts students demonstrate that they have become proficient in all realms of their chosen industry.”

The Senior Conservatory Plays will be performed at the Lewis Auditorium, 14 Granada St., Nov. 30 at 7 p.m. Tickets are $5 general admission, are available online at and will only be available at the box office one hour prior to curtain on Nov. 30. The box office phone number is 904-826-8600.

Flagler faculty, staff and students may obtain one free ticket directly at the box office. The event qualifies as a co-curricular activity for students.

For more information, contact Andrea McCook, Theater Arts Department Chair at (904) 819-6401 or

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