By Kimberly Wolford, Student Reporter
Adam Hester has not been to class recently. Instead, Hester, chair of the Department of Theatre and professor of theatre, has been in the Atlanta area directing John and Jen, a musical written by Andrew Lippa and Tom Greenwald.
John and Jen follows a brother and sister through a changing era, from the 1950s to the 1990s. The musical “takes a look at the complexities of relationships between brothers and sisters and parents and children,” according to the Music Theatre International Web site.
Mark Smith (’97) asked Hester to direct the play for Legacy Theatre in Tyrone, Ga.
“They don’t normally hire directors outside their company,” Hester said in an e-mail. “But he felt this was a special situation and wanted to find the right person to direct the show.”
Colleagues at ACU and Dr. Jeanine Varner, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, encouraged Hester to take the opportunity, he said.
“To accommodate my classes while I was gone, we brought in our former colleague, Dawne Swearingen Churchville,” Hester said.
This is Hester’s first time to direct John and Jen; however, he has used scenes from the musical in his classes at ACU.
“I’m really grateful to them for this opportunity and especially to my ACU theatre faculty, staff and students for their generosity to cover so many things while I’m gone,” he said.
John and Jen opened at the Legacy Theatre on April 18 and will run until May 3.
“It’s a great way to get ACU’s name and recognition out there, while making it possible for us to have professional experiences even though Abilene is not in a metropolitan area,” Hester said.