JAMES WORTH DIGITAL MEDIA AND COMMUNICATIONS
Artists’ Impressions of Rank Xerox, (my first press)
Copying machinery and computer cards might not seem the most inspiring of subjects for an artist but students at St Albans College or Art used these as a basis for entries in a competition sponsored by the WGC divisions of Rank Xerox
The students were asked to depict in artistic form the activities at the factory.
Pictured here are the winners of the competition J. Worth (2nd from left) and D. Richards (4th from left).
J. Worth who took first prize, entered a three dimensional pattern (seen extreme left) using the drums of the xerographic process as a basic form.
D. Richards’ entry depicted the circuitry system of a computer forms printer.
Also [pictured are Dr A. Harris (left) principle of St Albans College of Art, Dr. Peter Tipple, general manager of Rank Xerox, WGC (centre) and D. Cowie course director at the college.
As a result of the success of the competition Dr. Tipple has invited the students to design a Christmas card for the plant.
The winning entries will be used for publicity purposes or in advertising campaigns.
Welwyn Times 1969
Bringing in the business
James Worth, formerly with World Wide and now at Lancastria TV to 'bring in the business.' For Worth, ensuring that the studio pays for itself means bringing in lucrative sponsored work. Industrial films make up about half of overall production output, and clients include Tilcon, British Steel and Manchester Airport.
1983, 21 October BROADCAST Magazine
Augusta Players handle difficult play with ease
Web posted March 27, 1998By Richard Davis Jr. Correspondent
Arthur Miller's play, The Crucible, set in 17th century Salem, Mass., is about illicit sexuality, fear, guilt, religion, witchcraft, revenge and heroism -- dark themes lit only dimly by comic relief.
Make no mistake, it's a powerful play. But it's extremely difficult to do well, which is why many amateur theater companies steer clear.
The Augusta Players sailed right into it. And the audience I sat with was glad they did.
The set is stunning. Three massive inverted V beams define the opening scene, a garret in the Rev. Samuel Parris' cottage. Everything is black and white: black stools, white bed, white table, heavy black curtains.
The only touch of color comes from a spread, which covers a wisp of a girl who lies unmoving on the stage right bed. The girl's father sits in a chair staring at his child. Another girl prays silently at bedside. All are dressed in black and white.
With this opening picture, director James Worth beautifully captures the simple, though ideologically oppressive existence one associates with Puritan life and prepares his audience for a simple truth: Almost nothing can ever be simply black or white.
Director James Worth understands the play, and he understands his actors. His stage direction, his set, his lighting prove it.
Richard Davis Jr. teaches English, humanities and communications at Augusta State University and is a published playwright.
Drama, not history
Shakespeare put own spin on tale of Richard III
Web posted January 7, 2000
By Steven Uhles Staff Writer
A long, proud history of villainy runs through the theater. An endless parade of dastardly schemers and evil mustache-twirlers have trod the boards, hatching plots and engaging in random back-stabbings -- and they all owe a debt to William Shakespeare's Richard III.
Detailing the rise, reign and ultimate fall of England's King Richard III, Shakespeare's version of royal history sometimes plays fast and loose with the facts, but James Worth, director of the Augusta Theatre Company's production of the play, said that adds to the appeal.
``It's a wonderful romp of a play,'' he said. ``I really don't want people to think of this as dry, as, `It's Richard III, it's the history of England,' because it's just not true. Shakespeare condensed 20 years of history into about six months.''
``Shakespeare was writing, if you like, propaganda,'' Mr. Worth explained. ``But it's great propaganda.''…
``This is any actor's dream,'' Mr. Budd said. ``Richard is really the ultimate villain. In fact, coming into this I tried to see if there were any redeeming qualities with Richard, and there aren't.''
Although the play was written for a certain time and place -- Elizabethan England -- Mr. Worth said it is timeless because of its themes. I want to show that power corrupts, and `absolute power corrupts absolutely.'''
Web posted January 21, 2000
The Augusta Theatre Company under the direction of James Worth is a new troupe and short on funds, but this was not evident when it came to the vast array of authentic-looking Elizabethan costumes in the production. There was an ingenious use of effects to create mood. Smoke curled up from a hole in the center of the stage when the ghosts of those who have been murdered visit Richard. A bloody battle scene was made believable by bathing the stage in red light and casting the shadows of the soldiers behind sheer curtains.
Karin Gillespie is a free-lance writer and community theater actress who has performed in the Augusta area for 25 years.
‘Inspecting Carol’ is no Scrooge in giving laughs
by John Elliott for the Chronicle
The Augusta Players spoof the chaos of contemporary theatre in Inspecting Carol. Director James Worth propels his malcontented actors onto an arena to battle for broad laughs and each easily wins the war.
This farce set in a tiny room but on an epic scale. When Mr. Luke swings his Jacob Marley chains, there’s a clattering stage lamp attached at the other end. I will NOT reveal the huge special effect that scared the dickens (ahem) out of the audience, but it shouldn’t be missed. The props and staging are first-rate work and remarkably performed in the round! I haven’t seen this many pratfalls and well-timed gags since the old Carol Burnett show.
Troupe filling theater void
New company planning to stage classic productions and introduce new plays to Augusta
Web posted October 29, 1999
Charmain Z. Brackett Correspondent
Augusta already has a large arts community that appeals to various sectors, but James Worth of the Augusta Theatre Company says his new group, which debuts this weekend with a production of the dark comedy Cosi, has a niche of its own.
``There is a niche here for drama,'' he said.
Mr. Worth said theater enthusiasts must travel elsewhere if they're interested in classic productions of renowned playwrights such as Shakespeare, or new and avant garde plays by up-and-coming playwrights.
``They are going to Atlanta and Charlotte,'' he said. ``This is a golden opportunity.''
Cosi, an Australian play set in a mental institution during the Vietnam War, is about a young director named Louis (Justin Purvis) who is hired to give the patients an emotional outlet through drama.
The main theme of Mozart's opera is fidelity, and that theme is readily seen in the subplots. Each character's life has its own interesting story.
The players involved with the Augusta Theatre Company are excited about what the group has to offer Augusta.
Cast of 'Cosi' is vivacious, alive
Cast of 'Cosi' is vivacious, alive
Web posted November 5, 1999
By Richard Davis Jr. Special to the Chronicle
Cosi Fan Tutte is a comic opera by Mozart filled with dazzling music, beautiful voices and hilarious complications.
Imagine trying to cast it with amateur performers. The musical score alone would be daunting. Then you'd need singers (not merely people who can sing). Of course, these same singers must also be skilled comedic actors.
Forget about budget. There is none.
You'd have to be mad, right?
Well, it turns out that madness helps -- at least it does in the US premier of Lewis Nowra's play Cosi which opened Oct. 28 at Augusta Augusta Technical Institute's performing arts theater.
Produced by The Augusta Theatre Company, Cosi is a darkish comedy about a group of mental patients who are given liberty to stage a play as therapy.
Director and set designer James Worth is well on the way to his goal of producing ``exciting, entertaining, and stimulating plays for a broad-based audience.''
Richard Davis Jr. is a playwright and a professor of English, communications and humanities at Augusta State University.
Play puts accent on British humor
Play puts accent on British humor
Noted English playwright Noel Coward's mastery of understated mirth evident in `Laughter' Web posted March 3, 2000 By Steven Uhles Staff Writer
Everything audiences associate with British comedy -- the understated delivery, the penchant for social satire, the inordinate fondness for comedies of error -- can be traced back to Coward's farces.
Present Laughter is no different. Misconstrued intentions, infidelity and the constant struggle to maintain a sense of normalcy under difficult circumstances all mark the play as typical English fare.
``This is a show I know well,'' explained director James Worth. ``I knew that I wanted to direct a comedy, and I had wanted to do this play for some time. So I thought, why not? Let's do a good, old-fashioned English comedy.''
Although the play was written and takes place in the late 1940s, Mr. Worth said that much of its appeal comes from its timelessness.
``This play I think translates well,'' he said. ``I think it's the least dated of Coward's plays.''
The cast and director agree that the appeal of the play lies not only in the comic situations, but Coward's use of language as well.
``What's come out of this for me is actually an understanding of Coward's craft,'' Mr. Worth said. ``Coward actually writes in a particular rhythm for each character. It's made me aware of how he wants each character played.''
'Present' actors superb
Web posted March 17, 2000
By Anna Filippo Correspondent
My formula for a British farce is: mistaken identity, an interior set with multiple entrances and desperate women running in and out of said entrances in their lingerie. What is refreshing about Coward is that he avoided the formulaic and turned instead to the power of the word.
Tony R. Cooper plays an endearing Garry Essendine. While you can't condone his sexual code of conduct, there is still something essentially likable about Garry. Mr. Cooper appears entirely comfortable as an upper-middle class Englishman.
Emily Makuch plays Liz Essendine, Garry's no-nonsense wife. Ms. Makuch has a strong sense of stage presence, which carries through the entire show via the techniques of listening and reacting to her fellow actors and staying in the moment.
Additional engaging performances include Julie Menger as Joanna Lyppiatt, a victim of Garry's charms. Ms. Menger has an acute sense of the sexual and how to manifest it onstage.
Beth Blalock plays Daphne Stillington, the first young woman to extend her nighttime activities to Garry's apartment. Ms. Blalock knows how to center her energy both physically and vocally, to provide a spark to her performance as a young ingénue.
Other noteworthy performances include that given by Justin Purvis as crazed young writer Roland Maule, who, from a contemporary dramaturgical perspective, foreshadows the thinking and feeling theater that was to come two decades after this play was written. David Bartlett as Garry Essendine's manservant, Fred, is appropriately snide and seemingly courteous. Rob Freeman as Morris Dixon, friend to the Lyppiatts, handles himself well vocally and physically.
Joanne Greene as Garry's secretary grew in her role as the evening progressed. At first a bit soft vocally, and not entirely comfortable onstage, Ms. Greene soon overcame what may have been opening-night jitters to assume much better stage presence and focus in the second and third acts.
The set, with its thoughtfully planned colors and overall choice of furnishings for the studio interior, makes a wonderful impression upon one's entrance into the theater. Noel Coward is not easy to do, and the Augusta Theatre Company production of Present Laughter is a notable attempt to bring justice to the famed British author's words.
Professor Anna Filippo teaches speech and theater at Augusta State University and was an NEH (National Endowment for the Humanities) Fellow and visiting scholar at Columbia University in New York.
Audiences choose 'Curse' over Shakespeare
Web posted May 26, 2000
By Steven Uhles Staff Writer
When James Worth, the Augusta Theatre Company's managing director, allowed audiences to select which of two plays the troupe would perform for its season finale, he harbored few illusions as to which would win.
While he believed strongly in both plays, Shakespeare's The Tempest and American playwright Sam Shepard's Curse of the Starving Class, he held little hope that the brash American upstart could unseat the potentate of English letters.
But audience spoke, and now Mr. Worth and his cast find themselves Curse-ing.
``It was very close,'' Mr. Worth said, recounting the literary horse race. ``I really thought the Shakespeare would romp away with it, but Curse came in. It's kind of confirmed to me that we need more of the newer, avant garde plays in this city and that there is an audience for them.''
A darkly comic ode to the American family, Curse of the Starving Class places the self-absorbed and self-destructive Tate family under a magnifying glass, allowing their interactions on the family avocado farm to serve as a sort of petri-dish view of the larger world.
`This show could almost be a farce, but it's not,'' he explained. ``There are some macabre elements that pull this away from the standard let's-look-at-the-breakdown-of-the-American-family that we see every night on television. Shepard put a knife in the back of all that and does it in a funny way. He doesn't alienate the audience.''
For Mr. Worth, the magic of Sam Shepard stems from a universality that leaves time and place intentionally ambiguous. It's a trick that only a few masters are able to pull off.
`That's why there are other plays written by Sam Shepard I want to do,'' he said. ``I admire Sam Shepard as a writer, and I admire what he has done for the American theater. I think he will come to be regarded as being of the same stature of Arthur Miller. He is so strong and, like Miller's plays, his work seems to transcend time.''
Emotions, and other things, bared in 'Curse'
Web posted June 9, 2000
By Richard Davis Jr. Special to The Chronicle
Deep in the third act of the Augusta Theatre Company's production of Sam Shepard's Curse of the Starving Class, Alex Townsend strides boldly on stage and straight into local theater history. Naked.
The play, an Obie Award winner, is savagely funny; it's also a frightening careen into the dark side of the American family. It's set in a kitchen and held together by presentational imagery (an almost monolithic refrigerator) and by a grim, symbolic story of an eagle and a cat locked in a midair struggle to the death.
The eagle-cat story is Mr. Shepard's metaphor for a family that makes ''dysfunctional'' seem a weak descriptor.
In the story, the eagle snatches up a tomcat and soars into the skies gripping the prey in its talons. But the cat rips at the eagle's chest.
Neither can or will let go, and both crash to the earth as one. A less interesting but quite grotesque image is a maggot-infested lamb caged on center stage.
Weston, the father, is a drunk who squanders the family home. His wife, Ella, teams up with a shyster named Taylor in a scheme to sell the house and property out from under Weston. Emma, their daughter, struggles mightily to escape the tyranny of her family and shoots up a bar in the process. Wesley, the son, tries to keep his crumbling family together but ends up sacrificing and eating the lamb. Each is starved for some sort of fulfillment and each tears at the others to achieve it. Each is left angry, despairing, frustrated.
But it's funny - some of the time.
Mr. Townsend as Wesley is extremely good in a difficult role. We watch as his frustration grows into cynicism and finally sags into despair. He's always convincing, always on target. Then there's that business of nudity. Mr. Shepard's stage directions require a nude stroll down stage center. Mr. Townsend pulls it off without a stitch - I mean hitch - and may be the first local actor to do a full-frontal nude scene on an Augusta stage.
Dana Hughes as Emma is endearing and very funny as she deals with one outrage after another. She's having her first period; her brother urinates on her 4-H project; her horse drags her through the stables. Her ``chicken tirade'' is hilarious.
Clint McGuire as Weston is strong in his drunk scenes, but he's in a bit of a hurry to get through his monologues. As a result, we lose some of his best lines, though he tells the eagle-cat story powerfully. Deborah Rodriguez-Hawk as Ella is uneven: convincing in some scenes, devoid of energy in others.
Michael Budd as Taylor is appropriately smarmy and quite funny. David Bartlett as Ellis very nearly steals the show in a single scene. De'Reginald Lewis and James Holmes are amusing as two underworld creeps who can't stop giggling at the havoc they've wrought.
James Worth, director and founder of the company, caps an impressive season with a challenging and daring play. I very much liked Curse of the Starving Class.
Web posted June 17, 2000
Augusta Chronicle Editorial Staff
A bumper sticker tells it like it is: ''We are born naked, wet and hungry. Then things get worse.''
Things got worse for the Augusta arts community last week, after Augusta Technical Institute administrators censored a brief scene of male nudity from an Augusta Theatre Company play.
The Sam Shepard play, Curse of the Starving Class, was in its second week of production when administrators pulled the plug on the nude scene, calling it inappropriate.
Should college administrators control the context of a play and decide what ought to be pulled from the production? Is censorship an appropriate response from an institution of higher learning?
The answer is no.
The Augusta Theatre Company had already received the go-ahead to perform the play by Augusta Tech. But when school administrators learned that the nude scene had been discussed on a local radio talk show, Augusta Tech got cold feet.
Janice Richardson, vice president of Administrative Services at Augusta Tech, said administrators first became aware of the nude scene when the radio show brought it to their attention. But James Worth, the play's director, said he made a strong effort to announce there would be mature content, adult language and nudity in the play. If administrators didn't know about the nude scene, they just weren't paying attention.
It wasn't until it became an issue of public discussion that officials became more concerned about Tech's public image than they were about defending a playwright's artistic integrity.
A better decision would have been to let the play run and allow the public to decide whether or not the performance was in good taste. Theater is, after all, a performing art about which audiences are supposed to judge for themselves whether the play has merit.