November 2017

by Jim Reyland

Handmade: Friendships Famous, Infamous, Real, and Imagined by Jim Reyland is available at Amazon.com. Purchase an autographed copy and support a 2017 high school tour of his award-winning play STAND at writersstage.com. jreyland@audioproductions.com

“We held a shadow-interpreted performance of The Miracle Worker for the deaf

and hard of hearing that was completely sold out. [September was Deaf

Awareness month.] It was one of the coolest things we have ever done.”

—Beki Baker, Chair, Lipscomb Department of Theatre

Scout Pittman, Taylor Browning, Lacy Hartselle, Jonah Jackson in Dancing at Lughnasa; Photograph by Kristi Jones

Ladies and gentlemen, please stand and join me in a big purple and gold round of applause for the hard-working staff, students, and friends of the Lipscomb University College of Entertainment and the Arts. Dean Mike Fernandez, Director Steve Taylor, and Chair Becky Baker and crew not only shine with plays on the stage, but they also have a knack for strategic collaborations that will no doubt take their programs to the next level.

“The Department of Theatre is proud to partner with Nashville theatre companies, both professional and semi-professional, to give our students and faculty the best opportunities possible for development, growth, and networking. Lipscomb theatre students learn from those directly in the field, working side by side with them either as performers on the stage or in the capacity of backstage crews. The faculty utilize the chance to continue sharpening their directing and/or designing skills with these unique and special collaborations.”

Emily Meinerding and the ensemble of Peter and the Starcatcher; Photograph by Kenn Stilger

Impressive. Mike, Steve, and Becky, thinking like ninjas, are creating alliances with the Nashville Rep, the Shakes Fest, TPAC, and any other worthwhile, outside-the-box partnerships that will benefit their students and the arts community in which they live. In 2012, when Writer’s Stage took STAND on the first of our three tours, Mike Fernandez and staff were among the first to invite us to perform on the Lipscomb stage. In 2017, the Nashville Shakespeare Festival partnered with Lipscomb Theatre to present an all-female Richard II featuring a mixed cast of professionals and students. Perhaps you saw it. If not, please don’t miss it when Nashville Repertory Theatre and Lipscomb present an exciting co-production of Inherit the Wind at TPAC. Inherit is the final production of the Rep season and will put both organizations in the spotlight in the winter of 2018. And since nobody is tired yet, again in 2018 Tennessee Performing Arts Center and Lipscomb will collaborate in hosting the Nashville High School Musical Theatre Spotlights Awards. The local winners will travel to New York to compete nationally in the Jimmy Awards. The program invites area high schools to submit their performances and productions for evaluation by members of the local theatre community. Kathleen O’Brien, TPAC president and chief executive officer, is thrilled to collaborate with Lipscomb University on the Spotlight Awards.

“Whether they involve young performers taking their first steps on stage in a recital or Broadway stars returning to dazzle us in a touring Broadway production, we delight in those signature moments on TPAC stages when we celebrate the creative abilities honed right here in Music City. We can’t wait to see what new moments these future stars of the stage will bring.”

Lauren Yawn and Scott Wilson in She Loves Me!; Photograph by Kristi Jones

So, what’s happening right now on the Lipscomb stage? It’s She Loves Me!—considered by many to be the most charming musical ever written and featuring music by Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick (Fiddler on the Roof). She Loves Me! is a warm romantic comedy with an endearing innocence and a touch of old-world elegance. Working in a 1930s European perfumery, shop clerks Amalia and Georg, more often than not, don’t see eye to eye. After both respond to a lonely-hearts advertisement in the newspaper, they live for the love letters that they exchange, but the identity of their admirers remains unknown. She Loves Me! is based on the same story as the blockbuster film You’ve Got Mail. Join Amalia and Georg to discover the identity of their true loves—and all the twists and turns along the way!

Performances of She Loves Me! take place November 3, 4, 10, 11 at 7:30 p.m. and November 5 and 12 at 2:30 p.m. at Lipscomb University’s Collins Alumni Auditorium. For tickets please visit www.lipscomb.edu/theater.

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