By Kelline Linton, Staff Writer
The special production of A Grand Night for Singing on Sunday raised about $1,000 for Hurricane Katrina relief efforts.
The total amount collected from the event, not only from the $15 ticket sales, but also from numerous patron donations, totaled $1,333, and after royalties a little less than $1,000 dollars went to relief efforts.
Eighty patrons attended the performance with the desire to give.
Kristen Cothran, freshman undeclared major from Dallas, attended the special production.
“I realize that through watching the performance, I can give to those in need; I can give back the things I’ve been given,” Cothran said.
Dawne Swearingen, director and choreographer of the production, originally broached the idea to perform for Katrina proceeds. The cast members and production staff were excited by the thought, she said.
“All as a faculty and students wanted to do something,” Swearingen said. “As artists, they wanted to help make a difference–financially and emotionally. Their art is giving back to the community,” Swearingen said.
Swearingen recently moved from New York City, and A Grand Night for Singing was her first official project as faculty member.
For her, Hurricane Katrina was reminiscent of Sept. 11 and the collapse of the World Trade towers.
“I wanted to remind people there is a God out there; I wanted to give them a sense of hope, an appreciation of one another and the relationships in life,” Swearingen said.
The 10 cast members, including eight seniors and two juniors, willingly gave up their Sunday to work in the additional performance.
“We wanted to show that we cared and were thinking of those that were hurting right now,” said actor Sunday Ibok, senior musical theatre major from El Paso.
Fellow actor Heather Ketchersid, senior musical theatre major from Dallas, agreed.
“The most important thing as far as a Christian department is showing Jesus,” Ketchersid said, “and it was a great way to express our faith.”