Published on October 4, 2016 by Ashley Smith  
Sleeping Beauty

Samford University’s School of the Arts will present Sleeping Beauty by Charles Way Oct. 21–23. As part of the Michael J. and Mary Ann Freeman Theatre and Dance Series and Samford’s new Bachelor of Fine Arts Theatre for Youth program, this performance will take place in Harrison Theatre. 

The Theatre for Youth program is directed by Laura Byland, associate professor of theatre. One of the goals of Theatre for Youth is to develop opportunities for community engagement, Byland said. Numerous performances are available to local schools, and a “First Night” event will take place on Thursday, Oct. 20, sponsored by Samford Arts patron Emma Taylor of Birmingham. 

Several agencies, including King’s Home, a Birmingham ministry providing support for women and youth, have been invited to the First Night performance, which includes interaction with the cast and special activities. Additionally, Byland is working to develop a theatre outreach program with King’s Home that allows Samford students to share their talents with youth who rarely get exposure to theatre. 

Byland added, “We want this program to play a role in Samford’s Theatre for Youth outreach mission. Taking our students into the community is an integral part of our teaching philosophy as we want them to see beyond the stages at Samford and how they can make a difference.” 

The cast and production team for Sleeping Beauty are part of Samford’s School of the Arts. The classic tale relays the story of timeless friendship and overcoming great obstacles. With elaborate costumes designed by faculty member Mary Gurney and her students, and set design by David Glenn, the play will be a delight for all audiences. 

Even though this is the first year with a degree focused on children’s theatre, Samford has been producing children’s productions for several years, including the Wizard of Oz, Wind in the Willow, and The BFG. Additionally, the children’s theatre program tours area schools in the spring and takes Samford theatre students into the community, Byland said. 

For tickets and show hours, go to or call the box office at 205-726-2853. 

Ashley Smith is marketing and communication coordinator for Samford Arts.

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.