Best Bets: Dover High, DSU grad plays key role at SAG Awards

Those watching the Screen Actors Guild Awards Sunday night may see a familiar name flash across the screen just after the final trophy is handed out.

Ebony Radcliff, a 2011 Dover High School graduate and 2015 Delaware State University alum, is a senior executive publicity assistant for the telecast, having worked on the awards show for the past three years, starting as an intern.

Dover High and Delaware State University graduate Ebony Radcliff stands on the red carpet of the 2018 Screen Actors Guild Awards. She has been working on the awards show for three years. This year, she is a senior executive publicity assistant for the awards show that airs Sunday night at 8 on TBS and TNT. (Submitted photo)

She now oversees media communications, behind the scenes events, nominations announcements and show-day activities. She’s also worked on the Emmy Awards in 2018 and 2019, the Billboard Music Awards and the 50th NAACP Image Awards.

A self-described “military brat,” she was born in Germany and moved to Dover with her family when she was in kindergarten.

Her mother, Toni Garnes, a teacher at William Henry Middle School, and her grandparents still live in Dover where she returns every few months to visit her family.

While in high school, her career aspirations were more in the communications and journalism field, having spent time as the layout editor for The Senator newspaper.

“At Delaware State, I went the opposite way and realized all of my interests were under the umbrella of publicity,” Ms. Radcliff said by phone this week from Los Angeles during the busy leadup to the SAG Awards, which will air Sunday night at 8 on TBS and TNT.

Upon graduation from DSU where she majored in Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing, she spent a year at Dover International Speedway as a sales and marketing intern and event office coordinator.

And then it was off to Los Angeles in 2016 to pursue her master’s degree at the University of Southern California in Strategic Public Relations, which led her to develop a passion for entertainment publicity.

“It was only during the first semester that I realized that USC was the top school in the country for PR So that was perfect,” she said.

Although she headed out to Hollywood to study public relations, she didn’t realize right away that she wanted to get into the entertainment side of things.

“I realized that the ‘How to Get Away with Murder’ house was right down the street and that quite a bit of filming is done on campus,” she said.

“The movie ‘Legally Blonde’ was filmed there, the TV show ‘Scandal.’ It was exciting finding all that out.

“One night I was on a group chat with all of my best friends from Delaware and we were talking about all of these things and I realized that I knew more about TV shows than the average person. And that’s when I really discovered my passion.”

While at USC, where she received her master’s in 2018, she was selected for a coveted intern position for the Television Academy Foundation and was placed at the streaming network Hulu, where she focused on awards publicity for the summer.

“I did a good mixture of things for Hulu but was mainly focused on the Emmys where I did a lot of research and talent relations,” she said.

In 2018, she started working for the SAG Awards on a freelance basis, doing a variety of jobs, including social media and working in the media room during the show.

Now, she helps deal with sponsors, talent and the various committees. She also helps coordinate the schedule during this busy week.

“You never want to put one person in two places at the same time,” she said.

While much of what she does is managerial, she does deal with many of the celebrities who attend the award show. She isn’t quite sure what she will be doing Sunday night but in past years, she has helped greet the actors as they come off the red carpet and showed them where to go from there or helped take the winners off stage and into the press room.

Ms. Radcliff, 26, said she doesn’t get too star struck but definitely has her favorites when she sees them.

“I’ve seen Angela Bassett a couple of times and I always seem to get nervous around her,” she said.

The first year she worked the SAG Awards one of her jobs was to help coordinate the photographers who were allowed to take pictures of the celebrities milling about during the commercials.

“It was quite overwhelming to be standing in the middle of this room and see all of these famous people interacting with each other just like normal people,” she said.

“They are all sitting at tables and at one point, I was trying to get between these two chairs and I was walking behind this man and put my hand on his chair and he looked up at me and it was Steve Carell. He was very kind to me trying to get by but it was still overwhelming.

“But that feeling goes away eventually and you just do your job,” she said.

After the SAG Awards wrap up this weekend, Ms. Radcliff will start a full-time job with NBC where she will be a communications coordinator for the USA and Syfy networks, where she will be planning publicity events.

She says in the future she’d like continue working in related fields.

“I love publicity and talent relations but I also love planning events and figuring out all of the logistics. It’s like a puzzle, which is fun,” she said.

Although she misses her family in Delaware, she is enjoying living in Los Angeles.

“As a child, coming out to LA never crossed my mind. I applied to USC literally a month before the deadline and everything has happened so fast. But it’s all been great.”

‘Hoedown’ dinner theater

Ovation Dinner Theatre presents “Hank and Heidi’s Hillbilly Hoedown” at the Smyrna Opera House Saturday at 6 p.m.

Patrons are invited to join the Huckleberry & Hogslogger families in the celebration of Hank & Heidi’s young love. All of Hazzard County will be dinin, dancin, and romancin the night away.

Dinner is provided by Main Street Market. Tickets include dinner and the show. A bar will be available.

Advance tickets only at $50 are available at SmyrnaOperaHouse.org, by calling 653-4236 at the box office at 7 W. South St.

Auditions for ‘Godspell’

Possum Point Players will hold two auditions this month for their spring musical, “Godspell” set to take the stage in late March and early April.

Auditions are scheduled for Sunday and Wednesday at 6 p.m. at Possum Hall, located at 441 Old Laurel Road just off U.S. 113 in Georgetown.

The production of “Godspell” (the 2012 revival version) is conceived by John Michael Tebelak with music and new lyrics by Stephen Schwartz.

It will be directed by John H. Hulse, with musical direction by Gail Betton Kelso.

The cast requires 10 to 13 actors. They seek strong singers and comedic actors, ages 15 and up, who can portray characters with youthful spirit and boundless energy. Comedic timing, a good sense of physical comedy, and improvisational skills are valuable, as are the abilities to sing in harmony and function as an ensemble. The ability to play piano, guitar, and/or other instruments is also of benefit. Performers of all ethnicities are strongly encouraged to audition.

Those auditioning should prepare to sing a fully memorized up-tempo contemporary musical theater song showcasing one’s style and soul. Songs from “Godspell” are allowed. Accompaniment will be provided, and recorded accompaniment is also acceptable. Those auditioning will also participate in charade-type theater games and will be asked to read from the script. Those auditioning should dress comfortably and be prepared to move and dance.

Cast members must be available for all show dates: March 27, 28, 29, and April 3, 4, and 5.

Those needing more information, or unable to attend the audition, but interested in auditioning or being part of the production crew, should contact Mr. Hulse at 302-245-4147.

“Godspell” is a modern and sometimes comedic retelling of the Biblical parables and the last seven days of Christ’s life. It is a contemporary version of the Gospel according to St. Matthew in music, mime and dance.

The list of recognizable songs includes “Save the People,” “Turn Back, O Man,” and “Day by Day.”

For a detailed character and song breakdown, visit www.possumpointplayers.org.

Now showing

New this weekend in theaters is the Will Smith-Martin Lawrence sequel “Bad Boys for Life,” Robert Downey Jr. as “Doolittle” and the anime drama “Weathering With You.”

On DVD and download starting Tuesday is an animated version of “The Addams Family,” “Zombieland: Double Tap” and the thriller “Countdown.”