Great seats are still available for this week’s performances of “Amen Corner” at MTSU’s Tucker Theatre, an MTSU Arts production that observers already are praising as “professional-caliber.”
Curtain times are 7:30 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday, Feb. 26-March 1 and 2 p.m. Sunday, March 2. General admission tickets are $10 each and $5 for K-12 students, senior citizens and MTSU faculty and staff. MTSU students with valid IDs will be admitted free.
You can purchase tickets online at www.mtsu.edu/tuckertheatre and at the Tucker Theatre box office one hour before each performance begins. Watch excerpts from this weekend’s dress rehearsals for “Amen Corner” below.
Written by renowned African-American author James Baldwin in 1965, “Amen Corner” at MTSU features 12 students enthusiastic about bringing more diversity to the historic theatre program.
“We have a good number of African-American students here at MTSU, yet we very rarely do a play for African-American students,” explained professor Deborah Anderson, who’s directing “Amen Corner.”
“This play has a number of themes and statements that are very important to our entire community, and getting to present it during African-American History Month is a great opportunity.”
“This is something that everyone can relate to,” said MTSU senior Amber Broom, who is cast as “Sister Boxer,” a member of a storefront Harlem church where the minister’s family woes cause an uproar.
“I wanted to be part of this production because it’s a necessary production for MTSU. I feel I kind of have to be a part of it,” added Broom, a Memphis native whose future plans include graduate school and a goal of acting professionally.
Freshman theatre major Josh Jackson of Antioch, Tenn., will spar and spoon with Broom as her onstage husband of 26 years, “Brother Boxer.”
“I saw this character and liked him immediately. He’s sly and sneaky,” Jackson said with a laugh. “I’ve never played a ‘villain,’ so I’m excited to have a role with some conflict in it.”
MTSU’s theatre department is opening this spring semester on a high note after last fall’s “Les Misérables” — the largest musical theatre production in the university’s history — a successful studio theatre production of ”Woyzeck” by Georg Buchner and the wildly popular children’s musical “A Year with Frog and Toad.”
Though “Amen Corner” is a smaller production than “Les Misérables,” the diligence required to create and present it follows a similar plan. Casting announcements were made last December, and the students returned about a week early from winter break to get in rehearsal time and begin preparing sets, costumes, lighting and musical numbers.
“I haven’t done a straight play in a while, and I wanted to work with ‘Ms. A’ (Anderson) before she retires this semester,” said Sadie Katie Hampton, a sophomore theatre major from Murfreesboro, who is stage manager for “Amen Corner” and served in the same role for “Les Misérables.”
“I think this is a very cool production for our university, and it’s great for diversity in what we offer to the community. We’re all friends, and we’re all learning a lot to apply now in our classes and later in our careers.”
Along with Broom and Jackson, the MTSU cast of “Amen Corner” includes Kristen Thomas as “Sister Sally,” Maranda Wirt as “Odessa,” Pauline McGowan as “Sister Margaret,” Dominic Gillette as “David,” Christan McLaurine as “Luke,” LaDarius Mitchell as “Brother Douglas,” Samantha Young as “Sister Price,” Earle Gresham as “Brother Davis,” Jasmine Reid as “Sister Moore” and Chelsea Bell as “Ida Jackson.”
For more information about the show, visit www.mtsuarts.com and click on “Amen Corner” next to any of the performance dates. You also can call 615-494-8810.
— Gina E. Fann (firstname.lastname@example.org)