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TWU Drama presents 'Celebration'


DENTON— A rarely performed musical tale of the age-old struggles between youth and age, love and ambition, and spirituality and materialism comes to the Texas Woman’s University stage as the TWU Drama Program presents Celebration Nov. 12-16.

Performances will be at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 12; 4 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 13; 8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 14; 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 15; and 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 16. All performances will take place in the Redbud Theater Complex, located on the north side of historic Hubbard Hall on TWU’s Denton campus. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students and seniors. To reserve tickets online or for more information, visit or call the TWU Box Office at (940) 898-2020.

TWU Drama offers a “pay what you can” option at the 2 p.m. Saturday performance. This option does not apply to tickets purchased online. Tickets must be purchased at the box office prior to the scheduled performance and are offered on a first-come, first-served basis.

Professor Emerita Sharon Benge will direct the production, which will mark her final production at TWU as a full-time faculty member. Ms. Benge served as director of the TWU Drama Program for 13 years. She has extensive experience in theater producing and directing, having opened more than 90 plays at theatres throughout the state of Texas. She is the founding director of Fort Worth’s Shakespeare in the Park, and has served in artistic and administrative capacities at Casa Mañana Playhouse, The Arts Council of Fort Worth and Tarrant County and the Dallas Theater Center. Ms. Benge recently received the “Lifetime Achievement in the Arts” Award from The Arts Council of Fort Worth.

Celebration, which originally appeared on Broadway in 1969, was written by Harvey Schmidt and Tom Jones, the same team responsible for The Fantasticks. This musical fable tells the story of a dramatic New Year’s Eve that brings together Orphan, a naïve youth, and Edgar Allen Rich, a wealthy but jaded old man. Angel, a sweet entertainer who yearns to “be somebody,” tries to decide whether she would be better served by her feelings for Orphan or Rich’s willingness to fulfill her every dream.

The production features 18 TWU and University of North Texas undergraduate and graduate students. The cast includes Jenise Anthony, Kolby Campbell, Darrell Cleveland, Ryan Davila, Jordan Desmarais, Selena Flores, David Freyman, Baylee Friday, Violet Goforth, Marie Harbor, Kayla Harris, Brittany Hunter, Colton Jones, Alle Mims, Emma Montes, Riley Payne, Ashley Phillips and Carin Thornton.

TWU guest artists, faculty, staff and students will share design responsibilities. Technical director Michael Stephens will serve as the set designer; guest artist Tristan Decker will be the lighting designer; and Rhonda Gorman, assistant professor of design, is the costume designer. Undergraduates Chelsea Reeves and Bronwynne Smith will provide the sound and property design, respectively. Doctoral candidate Kelley Rodriguez will serve as the music director, with adjunct professor of music Laurie Cosby as the vocal coach and Darrell Cleveland, graduate student of dance, as the choreographer. Undergraduate Chelsea Taylor will be the stage manager, assisted by undergraduate students Crystal Phariss and Britnee Schoville.

Media Contact:

Karen Garcia
Senior Writer

page updated 5/9/2016 4:58 PM