Posted by Mary Wimberley on 2008-08-22

Samford University's School of the Arts will host Red Mountain Theatre Company in a presentation of the musical "Tinyard Hill" Saturday, Aug. 30, at 7:30 p.m. in Harrison Theatre.

The work by composer and Samford alumnus Mark Allen and lyricist Thomas M. Newman tells a touching story of big love and small town dreams in rural Georgia as the Vietnam Conflict heightens.

A 2001 Samford graduate, Allen is a graduate of New York University's Tisch School of the Arts graduate musical theatre writing program, where he won the 2005 ASCAP Max Dreyfus Award for Excellence in Musical Theatre Writing.

Allen's music for Tinyard Hill is a combination of country-rock with a contemporary musical theater twist.

A theatre major at Samford, Allen made his collegiate stage debut in the Samford Theatre production of the musical "Children of Eden." The play was directed by Dr. Don Sandley, who was in his first season as theatre chair at the school.

Newman, an alumnus of Troy University, is also a graduate of the Tisch musical theatre writing program.

Keith Cromwell directs Tinyard Hill. Kevin Grigsby is musical director. The cast includes Barry Austin, Matthew J. Godfrey, Tam DeBolt and Kirsten Bowden Sharp. Musicians are Grigsby, piano; Jonathan Sutton, bass; Bill Monk, guitar/banjo; and Maury Levine, drums.

Admission is $12 adults, $9 senior adults and $6 students/children. For tickets, phone (205) 726-2853 or check the website:

Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.