Mill Town Players place first in state theater competition


The Mill Town Players production of “Dark of the Moon” won first place at the South Carolina Theater Association (SCTA) Community Theatre Festival held at the Aiken Community Playhouse Nov. 6-9.

The production, the second for the newly formed theater group, was presented locally at the Historic Pelzer Auditorium over the Halloween weekend.

As the winner of this year’s SCTA festival, the Mill Town Players advance and will represent South Carolina in the regional competition at the Southeastern Theatre Conference in Chattanooga, TN on March 4–8, 2015. The Southeastern Theatre Conference, of which SCTA is an affiliate, is the largest theatre organization in the United States. Winners will advance to the national competition AACT Festival to be held in Grand Rapids, MI, June 23-27, 2015.

A seemingly impossible task at first, this win is a testament to the hard work and standard of excellence that have become hallmarks for the new company.

“This proves that greatness can be found anywhere,” said Will Ragland, Executive Artistic Director of the Mill Town Players. “I witnessed first-time actors win acting awards, the real power of the arts in a community, and that a passionate belief in a far-fetched idea can sometimes take you to the top,”  

In addition to winning first place in the state competition, Mill Town Players cast and crew won Best Actor Cameo (Joe Welborn), Best Musical Ensemble, Best Supporting Actress (Robin Upshall), Best Supporting Actor (Nicholas Smith), Best Set Design (Will Ragland), Best Lighting Design (Graham Shaffer), Best Sound Design (Jayce Tromsness), and Best Direction (Will Ragland). 

Set in the Smoky Mountains, “Dark of the Moon” recounts the story of John, a strange “witch boy” who upon first beholding the beautiful Barbara Allen immediately falls in love. The production features a live, local bluegrass band.

The production is under the direction of Will Ragland.

Cast members include: Ed Chambers – Uncle Smelicue; Joe Chambers – Conjur Man; Christopher Chamness – Floyd Allen; Al Chastain – Mr. Summey; Libby Crews – Mrs. Allen; Boyd Galloway – Mr. Allen; Jami Graddy – Witch; Robert Jordan – Hank Gudger; Wendy King – Mrs. Summey; Allie Kiser – Fair Witch; Luis Martinez – John; Moochie Merritt – Mr. Atkins.

Also Kelsey Mitchum – Edna Summey; Cindy Mixon – Dark Witch; Lexi Poteat – Witch; Charly Anne Roper – Barbara Allen ; Nicholas Smith – Preacher Haggler; Nate Stafford – Marvin Hudgens; Jena Taylor – Miss Metcalf; Gail Swift Trotter – Mrs. Bergen; Robin Upshall – Conjur Woman and Joe Welborn – Mr. Bergen

Band members include: Buford Riggins – guitar; Bruce Simmons – guitar; Jim Lark – banjo; Bonnie Lark – bass; Craig Cowan – mandolin and Bob Hauth- fiddle.

Located in the historic Pelzer Auditorium, Mill Town Players is a community theater whose purpose is to entertain, inspire, and enrich our community by providing quality and affordable live theater.

See related photos

Scene from Dark of the Moon