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RCC Drama Club enjoys a Dickens of a play

“I could not imagine a better way to join our students in celebrating the festivities and joy of the holidays!” says Jessica Coates, Rappahannock Community College’s Shared Services liaison, who recently coordinated an RCC Drama Club trip to see the Westmoreland Players perform “A Christmas Carol.” The occasion was particularly special for the students whose RCC English instructor, Amie Schaumberg, played several parts in the classic tale.

“I have been in love with theatre since a very young age, both as an audience member and as an actor, and I am delighted to have found two organizations in the Northern Neck—RCC and the Westmoreland Players—that support the arts so fully,” states Schaumberg. “Working with the Westmoreland Players has been simply wonderful, and getting to share the stage with such creative and inspired young people has made it even better. I am endlessly impressed with their maturity and dedication. As RCC’s Drama Club continues to grow, I am very excited to have a hand in giving even more students the chance to experience live theatre, through attending performances and workshops, and hopefully becoming active members of the arts community in their own right.”

A number of the other Westmoreland Players have current or past connections with RCC; an announcement at the beginning of the December 13th performance recognized both these and the student members of the audience. Westmoreland Players co-directors Glenn (playing Scrooge) and Joy Evans, and Kat Shepherd (first gentlewoman, Adult Belle, and a party guest) have all served as guest lecturers at RCC, the Evanses on theatrical subjects and Shepherd regarding Supreme Court decisions. Cory Coggin (Dick Wilkins, a miner, a beggar, and a sailor) is a senior at Essex High School who is pursuing an RCC associate degree concurrently with his high school diploma. India Eguiguren (Young Belle and Miss Fezziwig), a junior at Essex High School, attends the Chesapeake Bay Governor’s School at RCC. Lynn Brownley (second portly gentleman, James, and a mourner) earned an associate degree in administration of justice before going on to law school at the College of William and Mary. Erin Martin (backstage crew) also holds an associate of arts and sciences degree, and is now continuing her education at Virginia Commonwealth University. Brett Hermance (Young Scrooge, Young Bobby, and Topper) has completed one semester at RCC, and continues to attend classes.

“It was an amazing performance, with high spirits, amazing acting, and wonderful singing,” reports Coates. “The costumes, lighting, audio, acting, and singing were of the most professional quality.” She adds, “I think it is a wonderful opportunity to have RCC staff and faculty involved in such community events. It encourages our students also to become more involved in the community, because it opens doors to them. We hope this will encourage students to make their talents known and share them with the community.”

The RCC Drama Club’s sponsorship of the trip to see “A Christmas Carol” was undertaken with the aid of RCC’s Student Development Office.


Photo: Nine RCC-connected people had a hand in staging “A Christmas Carol” with the Westmoreland Players. Seated, left to right: Westmoreland Players co-directors Glenn and Joy Evans, and Amie Schaumberg. Standing, left to right: Cory Coggin, India Eguiguren, Kat Shepherd, and Lynn Brownley. Not pictured: Brett Hermance and Erin Martin.

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