the firebugs play

SMC Players to present “The Firebugs” November 6, 7, and 8 at 7:30 p.m.

Spartanburg, SC – The Spartanburg Methodist College Players will present Max Frisch’s classic “The Firebugs” November 6, 7, and 8 in the Marsha and Jimmy Gibbs Auditorium, located within the Edger H. Ellis Jr. Hall, on the campus of Spartanburg Methodist College. Performances are at 7:30 pm. General admission is $5, with SMC faculty, staff and students admitted for free.

Gottlieb Beidermann, an upright conservative businessman, discovers that the “guests” who have invited themselves into his attic are notorious arsonists who have burned much of the town. Beidermann tries to befriend them, offering them food and drink, assisting them in rigging the explosives, and in the final moments, giving them matches. Subtitled “A Learning Play Without a Lesson,” this tragi-comedy satirizes the complacency of a comfortable upper class society in the face of looming disaster. First presented as a German-language radio play in the 1950s, The Firebugs appeared off-Broadway in 1963 and has seen numerous revivals and adaptations ever since.

Appearing in the role of Gottlieb Beidermann is Chandler Goodrich, a drama major from Greer, SC. Babette Beidermann, his wife, is played by Tatiana Ferguson, a mass communications major from Carlisle. Shakira Jackson of Inman plays Stepp Smitz, an arsonists. Shakira is a musical theater major from Inman. Willi Eisenring, the second arsonist, is played by Patrice Haynes. She is a performing arts major originally from Tuscaloosa, AL., now residing in Columbia, SC.

Eva Zygmuntowicz, a fine arts major from Boiling Springs, plays Anna, the maid of the Beidermann household. The Chorus of Firemen who observe and comment on the action includes Alex Wright, a chemistry major from Spartanburg; Zygmuntowicz; Desirelle Nesbitt, a psychology major from Inman; and Pierce Burch, a Biology major from Holly Hill, SC. Burch doubles as a gullible policeman, Nesbitt plays a distraught widow, and Wright enacts a witless politician.

Kaitlyn Savannah Kizer, a sociology major from Lexington is stage manager; Leo Kingsley, an arts major from Spartanburg is sound operator; scenic construction by the Drama Workshop classes including Flavoris Belue, a drama major from Campobello; Kyle Campbell, an arts major from Charleston; Elexis Johnson, a fine arts major from Spartanburg; Jonathan Jones, an English major from Greer; Millard Jordan, an art major from Columbia; Austin Lindsey, an English major from Spartanburg; Christopher Culp-Robinson, a Criminal Justice major from Campobello, as well as members of the cast.

Mr  Scrooge! logo

Mr. Scrooge – Thursday, December 4, 2014 at 8:00 pm

A musical adaptation of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol
Book by Lanny Lanford and Brian Craig
Music and Lyrics by Lanny Lanford

Thursday, December 4, 2014
8:00 pm
Performance is free of charge, but reservations are required.

Marsha and Jimmy Gibbs Auditorium
Edgar G. Ellis Hall
Spartanburg Methodist College

A carved prime rib dinner will precede the show. Cost for dinner – $25
Proceeds benefit the SMC study abroad program.

Please RSVP by November 21, 2014 to Cheryl Somerset or (864) 587-4236 for both dinner reservations and seating confirmation.

Ed Dickerson webphoto


The Spartanburg Phillies minor league baseball team played in the Western Carolinas League and South Atlantic League from 1963-1994, at Duncan Park. When Ed Dickerson became the public address announcer at Duncan Park, the Voice of the Spartanburg Phillies-Traders-Spinners-Suns, the Israelis had just taken over the Gaza Strip in the Six-Day War of 1967; the Beatles were enjoying the success of Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band; and sadly, Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King were living their last summer. Dickerson was finishing his second year at SJC when Joe Bowles, Dean of Men at SJC, who also served as the Duncan Park announcer, but was leaving to take a position at Brevard College, approached Dickerson outside the gym about the announcer opportunity. Bowles recommended him to Pat Williams, who was then general manager of the Phillies and the rest is history.

Dickerson went on to Clemson, often commuting to Spartanburg to broadcast games. On a Sunday evening in 1969, Dickerson announced to the fans at the park that, “The Eagle has landed,” when man landed on the moon. Through the years, Dickerson acquired a plethora of memories and saw crowds of several thousand in the stands, to crowds of less than 100. Bob Feller came through from time-to-time with home-run hitting contests. Bart Starr, Johnny Unitas, and Oscar Robertson were just a few of the celebrities who came to Spartanburg for promotions and such.

For 27 years, Dickerson’s crisp, professional voice welcomed fans to “Beautiful Duncan Park.” He had fans who rose for the playing of the national anthem. He introduced the “Singing Postmaster from the little postmaster’s office,” and his rendition of “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” was sung during the seventh-inning stretch. He was the public address announcer that was not for either team—he was simply the voice.

After leaving his announcer role in 1994, Dickerson did not stay silent for long. Since 2008 he has been announcing Spartanburg High School football games, and in 2013 started announcing their baseball games, too. He has also been the voice of Spartanburg Christian Academy’s basketball for nine years and started calling their football games three years ago. Dickerson was a teacher of 8th grade American History for 31 years in the Spartanburg School District 7. He coached for the “Battle of the Brains” academic competition and is currently an active member of the SMC Alumni Council. Dickerson resides in Spartanburg with his wife Becky.

He is thrilled to see the renovations taking place at Duncan Park today and as he left our meeting, he winked and asked…“How do you keep a ballpark cool? Fill it with fans!” Words of wisdom from “The Voice.”

Ward website image

Spartanburg Methodist College presents SGA Founder’s Day Faculty Award to Professor Barry Ward

The Spartanburg Methodist College Student Government Association presented Professor Barry Ward with a Founder’s Day Faculty Award on Thursday, October 23 during the college’s annual Founder’s Day Celebration, which featured guest speaker NY Mets Hall of Famer, and SMC alumni, Mookie Wilson.

The 2014 inaugural award was presented to a faculty member who represents and embodies the spirit and vision of Dr. David English Camak, a visionary Methodist minister. SGA President, Adell Gordon, shared “the recipient of this award is one who is not afraid to try new things, puts the needs of students first, and is respected in their profession and by the student body.”

A 1979 graduate of SMC, Ward majored in Criminal Justice and earned an Associate in Arts. He continued his studies at the University of South Carolina, earning a Bachelor of Science, and his Master of Arts from Gardner Webb University, as well as pursuing additional graduate work at Lander University and Winthrop University.

Ward returned to SMC as an employee in March of 1987 and over the years has held positions as Security Guard, Director of Intramurals, Director of the Student Center, Director of Men’s Housing, Director of College Work Study, Cross Country Coach and Professor of Health & PE. He has long believed in the merits of the extended-learning-classroom concept. He teaches by day, and in the evening shares his time and talents coaching intramural sports and each January he chaperones a ski excursion for students.

“Have you had a kindness shown? Pass it on; ‘Twas not given for thee alone, Pass it on; Let it travel down the years, Let it wipe another’s tears, ‘Til in Heaven the deed appears – Pass it on. ” Although Dr. Henry Burton, Clergyman and Writer, is credited for this hymn/quote, Professor Ward has lived these words this entire life.

College life has been and is good for many SMC students thanks to the kindness of this gentle man who never forgot the kindness shown to him as a child. For you see this professor grew up in the loving arms of the Epworth Children’s Home. Kindness is all he has ever known and he passes it on daily…with jokes, fist pumps, poetry and a perpetually perky persona.

Ward once shared that he was blessed to call Epworth home, “I was fortunate to be able to draw upon my experiences at Epworth and build upon that foundation to motivate me academically and professionally. Without Epworth and SMC I probably wouldn’t be as confident, prepared and excited about life as I am,” said the 60 year-old, who is known to cartwheel and do backflips spontaneously down the halls of the Walker Building where he teaches.

Ward was also selected by his peers at SMC as the recipient of the 2010-2011 SCICU Excellence in Teaching Award and used the award stipend to expand his knowledge of health issues and shared that new knowledge with his students. A quote from his nominating materials reads “He creates an atmosphere where students learn life-saving and life-long lessons.”