This year the Department of Theatre has been involved in three spring productions, a Senior Showcase, Dance of Hope and Songs for New World. Two of these productions are being filmed and one will be over livestream for students and the ACU Community to watch.
The Senior Showcase, which is usually in New York City, is being filmed in Abilene this year due to COVID-19. Adam Hester is the director of the showcase this year as well as two casting agents acting as boots on the ground in New York City. Jason Baumgardner, local filmmaker from LA and husband to Theatre Costume Faculty director filmed Showcase
“Around 10 casting agents from LA, NYC and Dallas that will be invited in to do call backs and workshops,” said Dawne Meeks, associate professor and chair of theatre, producer of the Senior Showcase and director of Songs for New World. “We wanted to find a way and an opportunity for most of our students during COVID.”
The second production this year is Dance of Hope. There are nine student directors involved in the production ranging from sophomores to seniors, seniors were able to do their own original choreographed work.
“Our theme has been the courage to create, even though the arts were shut down this doesn’t mean art stops,” said Lily Balogh, lead choreographer and guest dance artist and director of Dance of Hope from NYC Ballet. “I hope that students get a message of hope from the dance.”
Dance of Hope launches May 1 before the spring production Songs for New World. Students Brody Jasso and Braden Garner are the lead on film directing all Beau Jest, Dance of Hope and Songs for a New World. Songs for New World is an eight-person cabaret style musical with very few words.
“The themes throughout is about hope, community and bridge building,” said Meeks. “It just really spoke to me and I felt like it would speak to our students wanting to bring hope to not only our student community but the community beyond.”
Songs for New World will be mounted May 6, 7 and 8 during graduation weekend. The show will be live streamed and tickets can be purchased online.
“We are just doing everything we can to continue to bring excellence and training to our students,” said Meeks “But more than anything to bring them the message of hope as we strive to be missional prophets and storytellers in this world.”
Due to COVID-19, the show Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat was replaced this semester with Songs for New World. However, the homecoming show will be Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat this fall semester.