Mark Castle, chair of the Department of Theatre and Dance, is enthusiastic about Samford’s upcoming arts season. “The 2017–18 theatre and dance season features an exciting range of classic and contemporary works, beginning with delightful family adventures from our Theatre for Youth program, through alternating nights of intimate and explosive single-room dramas, a cabaret and dance concert celebrating the exhilarating work of our singers and dancers, a 20th-century masterpiece about the nature of justice, and ending with the show-stopping work of creation itself in Stephen Schwartz’s inspirational musical Children of Eden, featuring acclaimed guest artist David Phelps,” he said. “We hope you join us for a whirlwind of artistry and creativity!”
Theatre and dance opens with the Emma Taylor Theatre for Youth Series presentation of the lighthearted comedy, How I Became a Pirate by James Yates Vogt and Mark Friedman. A first-night event will feature an invitation-only performance for local agencies Sept. 28. Public performances are Sept. 29–30 at 7:30 p.m. and Oct. 1 at 2:30 p.m. in Harrison Theatre.
In November, the Michael J. and Mary Anne Freeman Theatre and Dance Series begins with two rotating shows in Bolding Studio. Sam Shepard’s American classic True West and Beth Henley’s Pulitzer Prize–winning Crimes of the Heart will take turns in Bolding Studio. True West shows are Nov. 2, 4 and 10 at 7:30 p.m., and Nov. 12 at 2:30 p.m. Crimes of the Heart shows are Nov. 3, 9 and 11 at 7:30 p.m. and Nov. 5 at 2:30 p.m.
In the spring, the Freeman Series features a variety of performances, including a Musical Theatre Cabaret Feb. 2–3 in Bolding Studio and the Samford Dance Company annual concert Feb. 23–24 at 7:30 p.m. in Harrison Theatre. Bertolt Brecht’s thrilling revolutionary play Caucasian Chalk Circle is scheduled for March 22–25 in Harrison Theatre. Children of Eden starring David Phelps and a cast of students and local children is the season grand finale April 26–29 in Wright Center. Thanks to the generous support of Michael J. and Mary Anne Freeman and John and Marsha Floyd, who are underwriting David Phelps’ performance, the School of the Arts is planning a blockbuster event.
The Dr. Chandler and Jane Paris Smith Opera Series presents Hansel and Gretel by Engelbert Humperdinck, a Christmas favorite and touching show with familiar melodies, a full orchestra and a stunning set design by former faculty member Eric Olson. Performances are Nov. 30–Dec. 3 in Harrison Theatre. According to Kristin Kenning, opera director, “Samford opera is flourishing with the support of Dr. Chandler and Jane Paris Smith. When passionate, talented students are supported, they are able to produce their best work.” The series will also offer an opera workshop with free admission April 13–14 in Bolding Studio.
Tickets are $5 for children, $10 for students and $20 for reserved seats, and are available at tickets.samford.edu or from the Samford Box Office, 205-726-2853.
Ashley Smith is marketing and communication coordinator for Samford Arts.