Published on September 18, 2018 by Ashley Smith  
Miraculous Edward Tulane2

Samford University’s Theatre for Youth will present the award-winning play The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane Sept. 27-30 in Harrison Theatre. Their annual opening FirstNight program is on Sept. 27. FirstNight is part of the Emma Taylor Theatre for Youth Series and is integrated into the School of the Arts Bachelor of Fine Arts in theatre for youth. Milo’s Hamburgers will cosponsor this event, providing food and underwriting a live band.

Laura Byland, director of the Theatre for Youth program said, “With FirstNight, we are providing the opportunity for children and families who are facing difficult times to come to a special performance, free of charge, and experience the magic of live theatre. This event allows Samford students to not only perform but also interact with the Birmingham community in a very meaningful way.”

In addition to the performance, playgoers will be treated to a preshow event designed to enhance the theatre experience and set the stage for a fun evening. “We will have music, face painters, arts and crafts, chicken, popcorn and much more,” said Byland. The activities begin at 6:30 p.m.

“FirstNight is special for us in that we are working with several agencies serving children and families in and around Birmingham. This performance is invitation only and the sponsorship makes it possible to offer this to people who might not usually have the opportunity to attend a live show,” said Byland. Agencies represented this year include Alabama Baptist Children’s Homes and Family Ministries, Children’s Aid Society, King’s Home, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, GRANDparents and the others. There are tickets still available, so please contact Byland at

This production of The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane is from the book by Kate DiCamillo and adapted by Dwayne Hartford. It tells the story of self-discovery and transformation of a toy rabbit. Hartford visited Samford recently to work with the students and provide guidance during the development of the production.

There are also several matinees for local schools and public showings. Public performance dates are Sept. 28 and 29 at 7:30 p.m. and Sept. 30 at 2:30 p.m. in Harrison Theatre. Tickets are available at
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.