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Centenary College Theatre Major Secures Grant for Centenary Stage Company

09/30/2013, 10:56 AM

Hackettstown, N.J. – Kyle Conner, a Centenary College Theatre major from Newark, Delaware, has experienced much acting and theater management success since his first year at Centenary three years ago.  Now he can add another success to his résumé: grant writer.

In his position as workstudy student for Centenary Stage Company, Conner was responsible for the nine- page proposal to Target for a $2,000 grant, which was accepted.  The grant money from the Target Educational Outreach Program will be used toward “Shakespearance”, a program in which Centenary faculty and students teach Shakespeare in local schools and through Centenary Stage Company’s Young Audience Series, a program in which students perform classic children’s literature at the Little Theatre at Centenary every third Saturday of the month. The Young Audience Series is also available on tour for local schools and organizations. 

As part of this assignment, Conner, who is also a performer, had to provide overviews of the programs, review budget information and conduct research on the anticipated outcomes of the programs and the feedback from organizations that have experienced the Young Audience Series tour and onsite performance series.  In addition, he had to provide statistics on the population that has been served, including age groups and gender information.

“This is a whole new aspect of theater management that I am now a little bit more familiar with,” says Conner.  “It was a challenging and interesting project and it was so exciting that Centenary Stage Company was selected for this honor.”

Conner has a wealth of acting experience under his belt.  He will be playing the role of Dionysus for the Centenary student production of “Polaroid Stories” this fall.  Among the many other plays in which Conner has performed: “The Wizard of Oz” (Centenary Stage Company), “Forbidden Broadway” (Shawnee Playhouse directed by William Selby), “The Winter’s Tale” (Delaware Shakespeare Festival) and “Carousel” (Walnut Street Theatre).  He was also featured in a commercial for MTV’s “A Thin Line” campaign, which was designed to stop the spread of digital abuse, and was featured in the 2008 film “Wrestling.” 

In addition, he did an apprenticeship with the Delaware Shakespeare Festival in 2011, which entailed playing three parts in “The Winter’s Tale” (Cleomenes, Mariner and First Servant) and being the understudy of the part of Autolycus.  In addition, he participated in master acting classes and was involved in festival setup and technical work. 
In addition to his part-time workstudy position at Centenary Stage Company, he holds a part-time position with the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey at Drew University as an associate, specifically focusing on patron services.

Conner chose to study Theatre at Centenary College because of the small professor-to-student ratio and the fact that Centenary College also has the Centenary Stage Company, a Professional Equity theater that is a member of the New Jersey Theater Alliance.  The Centenary College theater program is one of the few in the country that affords students the opportunity to earn points toward membership in the Actors Equity Association (the professional union of actors) during their academic career, based on accumulated experiences from accredited professional productions both on campus and at other professional equity theaters.  In addition, Centenary College recently opened the David and Carol Lackland Center, which is the home for Centenary Stage Company.  Widely considered to be one of the most sophisticated performance venues in the Skylands region, the state-of-the-art facility features a 485-seat proscenium theater named the Sitnik Theater and the Edith Bolte Kutz’42 Theater, which is a “black box” experimental theater, as well as one of the largest dance studios in the state.

“Kyle is a terrific student, employee and actor,” says Catherine Rust, General Manager of Centenary Stage Company.  “He is so talented and is a pleasure to work with.  I am so pleased that he was so integrally involved in this important grant for Centenary Stage Company. Kyle epitomizes the role of well-rounded students who embraces new opportunities and experiences.  I am confident that his excellent skills, motivation, and sense of responsibility are destined to take him to great heights.”

About Target
Minneapolis-based Target Corporation (NYSE:TGT) serves guests at 1,856 stores across the United States and Canada, and at Target.com.  The company plans to open its first stores in Canada in 2013.  In addition, the company operates a credit card segment that offers branded proprietary credit card products.  Since 1946, Target has given 5 percent of its profit through community grants and programs; today, that giving equals more than $4 million a week.  For more information about Target’s commitment to corporate responsibility, visit Target.com/hereforgood. 

About Centenary College
Founded in 1867 by the Newark Conference of the United Methodist Church, Centenary
College is an independent, coeducational liberal arts and career studies college
distinguished by an accomplished faculty, small class size and diverse student body.  Centenary is the only baccalaureate and master’s degree granting institution in northwest
New Jersey.

Centenary College’s main campus is located in Hackettstown, N.J., with its equestrian facility in Washington Township (Morris County).  The Centenary College School of Professional Studies offers degree programs in two locations: Parsippany and Edison, and at corporate sites throughout New Jersey.  The School of International Programs recruits international students for study at Centenary and Centenary students for study abroad.