Bill Kincaid Jr. Returning to Wilmington to Direct Summer Theatre

College-Community Summer Theatre to Present Dirty Rotten Scoundrels

May 1, 2013

Bill Kincaid Jr. (Photo by Todd Joyce '85)

Bill Kincaid Jr. (Photo by Todd Joyce '85)

Bill Kincaid Jr.’s first acting experience was in 1973 playing the white rabbit in Alice in Wonderland on the stage of Wilmington College’s Boyd Auditorium. Forty years later, he is returning to WC’s stage to direct the College-Community Summer Theatre’s production of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.

The show runs July 18, 19 and 20, at 7:30 p.m., and July 21, at 2:30 p.m., in Wilmington College’s Hugh G. Heiland Theatre. Auditions will be held in the theatre May 20, 21 and 22, at 7:15 p.m., with no advance preparation required.

Kincaid, a 1986 WC graduate, is head of acting for Western Illinois University’s Master of Fine Arts program and, in recent years, his artistic summer home has been in New York as director of the professional Cortland Repertory Theatre.

He said the timing was right in his university teaching career to take on a summer project like community theatre, plus the thought of returning to his roots proved very appealing.

“This is an opportunity for me to come back to the place where I grew up and had tremendous formative experiences in theatre,” he said. “Those experiences — starting with Alice in Wonderland in 1973 — opened me up to the love of theatre that’s been propelling me for 40 years.”

Kincaid graduated from WC with majors in theatre and music before earning his Master of Fine Arts degree in acting and directing at Southern Illinois at Carbondale. He began his professional directing career in Sarasota, Fla., directing such shows for Theatre Works as Baby and Jeffrey and Jacques Brel Is Alive and Well and Living in Paris.

During the early 1990s, he was associate musical director and a member of the workshop faculty at the renowned Williamstown Theatre Festival in Massachusetts, where he vocal coached or musical directed productions starring Julie Harris, Christopher Walken, Christopher Reeve, Blythe Danner and Gwyneth Paltrow.

Kincaid also directed The Rocky Horror Picture Show at Seacoast Repertory Theatre in New Hampshire and, in 1997, became artistic director at the Weathervane Playhouse for three years, followed by nine years as a regular guest director at Indiana’s Brown County Playhouse.

During recent summers at Cortland, he has directed 11 shows, including Souvenir, A Few Good Men and Gross Indecency. Productions he directed have been nominated for a dozen Syracuse Area Live Theatre Awards and have won three, including the 2011 production of Chicago.

(LEFT) Bill Kincaid Jr. (right) portrays the white rabbit in 1973's "Alice in Wonderland," which was his first taste of theatre. He is pictured with James Cook.

At Western Illinois University, Kincaid has received both the Creative Activity Award and Outstanding Teacher Award. Also, the National Partners of American Theatre three times honored him with its Classical Acting Coach Award.

Kincaid has a great appreciation for what Steven Haines accomplished as summer theatre director over the past 40 years. Haines retired in 2012.

“I remember when I saw Steven’s production of Godspell as a junior in high school,” he said. “I thought it was the most amazing thing I’d ever seen.”

Kincaid said Haines’ insistence on producing shows not normally done by community theatres gave him a much greater insight into the breadth of theatre at a younger age than many of his directing contemporaries possessed. His Wilmington College Theatre experiences under the late Hugh G. Heiland and Lois Hock, professor of theatre, complemented his summer theatre involvement.

“I experienced theatrical literature and shows at Wilmington that I would never have heard of,” he said. “The quality and integrity of Wilmington College and College-Community Summer Theatre was and is extremely high — I’m proud of everything I did then.”

Kincaid also has an appreciation for the shared experience that has been a hallmark of College-Community Summer Theatre for some four decades.

“It’s always represented a tremendous coming together of people from the community,” he added. “Through summer theatre in Wilmington, I found other people who saw the world the way I did.”

Auditions for Summer Theatre's "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels"

Time: 7:00 PM until 9:00 PM
Date: Monday, May 20, 2013
Location: Hugh G. Heiland Theatre

NOTE: Auditions start at 7:15 p.m., no advance preparation is required.


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