Published on October 25, 2017 by Ashley Smith  
family plays

Samford University’s Michael J. and Mary Anne Freeman Theatre and Dance Series presents back-to-back student productions, True West and Crimes of the Heart, over the next two weeks.  These award-winning modern classics explore family dynamics of brothers and sisters with humor and realism.  

Senior theatre students take the director’s role in these productions. Jack Dowey is from Columbia, South Carolina, and True West is his directorial debut as well as serving as his senior capstone project.  

Dowey says, “True West allows for us to see what happens when we neglect our dreams. I chose this piece so the audience has the chance to reflect on how they themselves have followed their dreams, and maybe take a second chance in pursuing them.”  

Ann-Houston Campbell directs Crimes of the Heart and notes, “This story about community, and familial unity is very important in today’s day and age.”

Campbell is a theatre for youth major from Franklin, Tennessee, and directed The Curious Savage that was performed by Samford theatre students at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival this past summer in Scotland. 

According to Mark Castle, Department of Theatre and Dance chair, “Directing a fully-staged production is rare at the undergraduate level. Both Jack and Ann-Houston submitted proposals to present mainstage productions as part of their senior projects. Having completed a sequence of directing opportunities, they were ready to take on this challenge which provides excellent training prior to entering the professional world.” 

Over the course of two weekends, audiences will have the opportunity to see both of these productions in Bolding Studio. True West runs Nov. 2, 4 and 10 at 7:30 p.m. and 12 at 2:30 p.m., and Crimes of the Heart will be Nov.  3, 9 and 11 at 7:30 p.m. and Nov. 5 at 2:30 p.m. 

Tickets are available online or by calling the box office at 205-726-2853. 

These are the first two events in the Freeman Theatre and Dance Series for the 2017-18 season.  The musical cabaret will start off the spring season, followed by the Dance Concert, Caucasian Chalk Circle and end with Children of Eden starring David Phelps whose performance is underwritten by Samford Arts patrons John and Marsha Floyd.  

About Samford UniversitySamford is a premier nationally ranked Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts and a distinct blend of graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. The Wall Street Journal ranks Samford 12th nationally for student engagement and Kiplinger’s Personal Finance ranks Samford 34th among private universities in the U.S. for value and affordability. Samford enrolls 5,619 students from 44 states and 30 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 NCAA Division I teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference.