Workshops at West Virginia State University Explore Entertainment Industry

Contact: Kimberly Osborne
(304) 766-3363

Feb. 2, 2015
Workshops at West Virginia State University Explore Entertainment Industry

INSTITUTE, W.Va. – Acting for the camera, producing films in Hollywood and transitioning from performing arts student to professional are just some of the topics to be covered during a pair of workshops to be held Feb. 10-11 at West Virginia State University (WVSU).

Hollywood performer Eddie Mills and New York City-based actress Danita Mercer will team up to provide students with knowledge gained from their personal experience Tuesday, Feb. 10, and Wednesday, Feb. 11, as part of the year-long “Essential Stages: The Donna Skeen Visiting Theatre Artists Series” at the University. Both workshops are free and open to the public and will take place at 5 p.m. each day in the Skeen Theatre in the Cole Complex Building on WVSU’s Institute campus.

The first workshop, “What Are They Looking for in Hollywood? Acting for the Camera,” will be presented by Mills, an actor whose work has taken him all over the world, producing for stage as well as screen. He holds an NAACP award for Producer of the Year for the musical “The Wild Party,” was associate producer and co-star in the film “ARTWORKS” and worked on the production design team of the blockbuster film “The Hunger Games.”

Mills is now building his own production company for content branding, networking, narrative, commercial, documentary-style and scripted works. Most recently, he guest-starred in the TNT series “Murder in the First” and a commercial for Nissan LEAF.

The second workshop, “You Really Can Go from Undergraduate School to LA and NYC!” will be presented by both Mills and Mercer. Known as a “Jill-of-all-trades,” Mercer has moved seamlessly between the worlds of theater, entertainment and fashion. She has been a dresser for several hit Broadway shows, including “Phantom of the Opera” and “Rock of Ages” and has worked as a voiceover artist, booking commercials with clients ranging from Nick Jr. to Caltrate. In the realm of fashion, she has worked as tailor, assistant stylist and dresser for clients such as Perry Ellis, Vanity Fair, Macy’s and Maybelline.

“Essential Stages: The Donna Skeen Visiting Theatre Artists Series” began in fall 2014 with the goal of featuring various artists from around the nation performing and leading discussions about how theatre works, their experiences as working artists and how communities benefit from the arts.

The Visiting Theatre Artists Series will feature workshops on March 31-April 2 on healing through the arts. The series will conclude April 22-23 with a master class in mime and a look at the works of Charlie Chaplin.

All performances, workshops and master classes are free and open to the public.

For more information please contact Professor Susan Marrash-Minnerly at (304) 766-5110 or visit

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West Virginia State University is a public, land grant, historically black university, which has evolved into a fully accessible, racially integrated, and multi-generational institution, located in Institute, W.Va. As a “living laboratory of human relations,” the university is a community of students, staff, and faculty committed to academic growth, service, and preservation of the racial and cultural diversity of the institution. Its mission is to meet the higher education and economic development needs of the state and region through innovative teaching and applied research.
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