MTSU Theatre ventures into utopian community of ‘T...

MTSU Theatre ventures into utopian community of ‘The Giver’

Give yourself the gift of live drama this month and join MTSU Theatre for its look at “The Giver,” a boy facing his role as keeper of the memories of his utopian community, Thursday-Sunday, Feb. 16-19, in Tucker Theatre.

Department of Theatre and Dance assistant professor Alicia Fuss is directing the production with an 11-member cast. It’s Emmy-nominated playwright Eric Coble’s adaptation of the Newberry Medal-winning young adult novel of the same name by Lois Lowry.

Tickets for the play, which are $10 general admission and $5 for K-12 students, are available now at They can also be purchased at the Tucker Theatre box office at MTSU’s Boutwell Dramatic Arts Auditorium, 615 Champion Way, beginning one hour before each performance.

Curtain times are 7:30 p.m. Feb. 16-18 and 2 p.m. for the Feb. 19 matinee.MTSU students, faculty and staff can attend free by presenting a current university ID at the box office.

“The Giver,” which also became a 2014 film starring Jeff Bridges, follows the discoveries of 12-year-old Jonas, whose world is under control and safe, without war or fear or pain. Each person is assigned their role in the community, however, and they have no choices.

Young Jonas is suddenly chosen by “The Giver” to be the new collector and keeper of the community’s memories, and he begins to learn the truths of their world.

Rona Carter of Nashville is making a special Tucker Theatre appearance as the Giver, bringing her decades of acclaimed work with the Tennessee Repertory Theatre and Nashville Shakespeare Festival and teaching and acting with Nashville Children’s Theatre to both her fellow MTSU Theatre actors and the MTSU audience.

Performing alongside Carter are fellow cast members:

• Senior theatre major Lyndarious Arrington of Antioch, Tennessee, who portrays young Jonas, the Giver-in-training.

Caitlin McMahan of Livingston, Tennessee, a senior theatre major who plays Asher.

• Junior actuarial science major Arianne Joy Dayrit of Old Hickory, Tennessee, whose role is Lily.

Mary-Beth Mangrum of McDonald, Tennessee, a senior journalism major who portrays Rosemary.

• Senior theatre major Carmen Dennison of Arlington, Tennessee, who plays Mother. • Emma Bastin of Lebanon, Tennessee, a junior theatre major who plays Fiona.

Garrett Holt, a junior theatre major from Clarksville, Tennessee, who portrays Father and serves as understudy for the Giver.

• Sophomore theatre major Moira Cagle of Murfreesboro, who is Larissa/Chief Elder.

Christian Newton of Hendersonville, Tennessee, a sophomore theatre major who serves as understudy for the Jonas, Asher and Father characters.

• Junior English major Molly Stegall of Hixson, Tennessee, who is understudy for the Lily, Fiona and Rosemary characters.

Senior theatre major Carly Winningham of Crossville, Tennessee, is aiding Fuss as assistant director.

More details about the MTSU production of “The Giver,” including a digital program with a full cast and crew listing, are available at

Tucker Theatre is fully accessible for people with disabilities, including hearing, vision and mobility needs.

MTSU Theatre and Dance logo

The 2022-23 MTSU Department Theatre and Dance schedule, which marks the 11th season of the College of Liberal Arts “MTSU Arts” brand for the university’s fine arts programs, will continue this spring with:

• Julia Cho’s comic drama “The Language Archive,” set March 23-26.

• The classic musical “Cabaret,” by Joe Masteroff, John Kander and Fred Ebb, planned April 6-8.

• The MTSU Dance Theatre’s Spring Dance Concert, set April 20-22.

For more details on MTSU Theatre and Dance productions, visit

For more information about MTSU’s Department of Theatre and Dance in the College of Liberal Arts, visit For details on MTSU Arts events and supporting its student programs in the Patrons Society, visit

— Gina E. Fann (