Morris’ Final ATU Production Opens Feb. 14

Dr. Ardith Morris is saying goodbye like she said hello.

The 37-year veteran of the Arkansas Tech University faculty will direct a production of “The Robber Bridegroom” at the Techionery Theatre, 1502 N. El Paso Ave. in Russellville, beginning with an 8 p.m. showing on Thursday, Feb. 14.

Subsequent shows for the general public are scheduled for 8 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 15, and 2 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 17.

Tickets ($12 general admission/$8 students) will be sold at the door.

“I did this musical my first year as a full-term faculty member, and it did so well that it onto a state festival that received high praises back in 1983,” said Morris, who joined the ATU faculty in 1982 and will retire in May at the rank of professor of communication and theatre. “Because of my experience with this musical and what it means to me, I believe departing with such a meaningful play that brought such happiness into my career would only be fitting.”

Ken Futterer, associate professor of music at ATU, is serving as musical director for “The Robber Bridegroom.” He and Morris have collaborated on more than 40 productions.

Futterer observed that the show will bring Morris’ career “full circle.”

ATU student Cameron Davis of Russellville is on the production’s leadership team as choreographer. She is majoring in management and marketing.

“I’m honored to have the opportunity to choreograph Ardith’s final show at Arkansas Tech University,” said Davis. “I have known Ardith my whole life, so it’s really exciting to be a part of this show.”

Jack Button of Springdale, Cannon Cobb of Pottsville, Shaylen Davis of Russellville, Andrew Egan of Gamaliel, Gracie Folks of Harrison, Caleb Foshe of Farmington, Maddie Geels of Clarksville, Brent James of Russellville, Chelsea Mattas of Ozark, Jacob Smith of Little Rock, Ashlin Trahan of Clarksville, Holly Willmon of Bauxite and Nathan Yzaguirre of Hot Springs will be featured performers in “The Robber Bridegroom.”

Geels is also serving as costume coordinator.

Additional members of the production crew include Summer Dantzler of Conway (stage manager), Abraham Zarate of Russellville (assistant stage manager), Chloe Charton of Ola (props manager) and Faith Spencer of Clarksville (lighting designer).

Brian Conatser from the ATU Department of Music is serving as rehearsal pianist. Avery Coonts, theatre arts techical supervisor, is fulfilling the duties of technical director.

Dr. David J. Eshelman, professor of communication, serves as director of the ATU theatre program.

“The Robber Bridegroom” book and lyrics were written by Alfred Uhry with music by Robert Waldman. It is adapted from a novella by Eudora Welty. “The Robber Bridegroom” is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI). All authorized performance materials are also supplied by MTI.

For more information about the show or ATU theatre, call (479) 964-0890.

This news release made possible through information provided by Summer Dantzler, an ATU student majoring in public relations and theatre.

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