By Walker Polivka, Contributing Writer
During this year’s Homecoming celebration, the theater department will present the First Annual Hilltop Players’ Wall of Fame Ceremony. The Hilltop Players have had a very rich history, filled with people who have worked with the program for years while going above and beyond the call of duty to make the program a success. The goal of starting a Wall of Fame is to recognize these contributions.
This years’ inaugural inductees include the following: Dr. Helen M. T. Kelly, Stanley Harrison and John E. Reilly.
Kelly was paramount in establishing the Hilltop Players. She was one of the original directors who helped shape the Players into the program that it is today. The Kelly Theatre was named in her honor.
Harrison is a graduate of Yale, where he earned an MFA in drama. He further honed his craft by studying under Stein Burger and Eric Byrak, who are the Directors of the National Theatres of Norway and Holland, respectively. He has spent a career of over 40 years in acting as both a performer and acting coach and established two theaters in New York.
Reilly is a retired Associate Professor of Communications who taught at West Liberty for 29 years. He has also worked extensively with Towngate Theatre as well as Mystery Theatre.
Between the three of these inductees, they have nearly 60 years of experience and have forever changed the lives of thousands of students along the way.
Don’t expect this to be a run of the mill Wall of Fame. “We only want to induct in the crème de la crème of West Liberty theatre. We don’t want to have a Wall of Fame where there are 150 inductees. I want it to be an honor, so there may not be someone elected to the wall each year,” said Michael Aulick, Associate Professor of Theatre.
Aulick along with current Assistant Professor of Theatre Meta Lasch came up with the idea for the Wall of Fame when thinking of ways to preserve the theater’s past.
The inaugural ceremony will take place during Homecoming weekend this year. The induction ceremony will be held on Saturday, Oct. 14 in the Kelly Theatre at 5 p.m. The unveiling of the Hilltop Players’ Wall of Fame, as well as a reception for the inductees will follow the ceremony. The night will be capped off by a performance of the Hilltop Players’ current play, “As It Is In Heaven.”
Tickets for the event cost $25 and include the ceremony, the reception and the show. They can be purchased here.