Published on March 22, 2017 by Ashley Smith 

Samford University’s Department of Theatre and Dance premieres a new program and production in April in the School of the Arts . 

Musical Theatre: New Works Initiative is a workshop opportunity for students to become part of the creative musical theatre process. Assistant professor Clayton Winters is directing the new workshop performance of Pretty Funny, a work by Philip Farugia and Marisa Guida. Musical theatre students spent their spring break rehearsing the production and providing feedback to the musical’s creators.  

Pretty Funny is the first new work produced by Samford, but it will become part of the musical theatre curriculum moving forward. 

“For our students and Samford to be influential and effective in the future of musical theatre, we need to help shape those stories,” said Winters. “This workshop program connects our students to individuals in the industry, provides exposure to professional rehearsal schedules, encourages collaboration and introduces them to the workshop concept.” 

Pretty Funny is a family-friendly show that has a strong message of self-reliance and empowerment, Winters added. Samford provides Birmingham with a unique premiere opportunity to see this show on its way to Buffalo, New York, this summer. Farugia, one of the creators, will attend opening night. 

The production is April 6– in Brock Recital Hall. Tickets are available at Performances are 7:30 p.m. April 6–8 and 2:30 p.m. April 9.  

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.