The University of Montevallo Theatre Department’s main stage season will conclude this weekend with a run of the Alabama premiere of High Fidelity: A Musical. Based on Nick Hornby’s novel and the popular film starring John Cusack and Jack Black, High Fidelity takes us through the “Top 5” history of Rob Gordon’s break-ups as he negotiates the perils of adulthood, relationships and trying to run a used record store (as well as preserving the art of making a great “mix tape”).
The musical opens Thursday, April 23, and will run nightly at 7:30 p.m. through Saturday, April 25. A 2 p.m. matineé performance is scheduled for Sunday, April 26. All performances will take place in Reynolds Theatre, where the seating will be on stage and limited.
Reservations can be made by contacting the Theatre Department at 9-665-6200 or by going to the office in Reynolds Hall in person. Note: This musical comedy contains profanity and adult content and is not suitable for children.
UM’s cast includes James Powers as Rob; Hannah Mansfield as Laura; Barrington McQueen as Dick; Michael Loman as Barry; Bailey Gaskin as Liz; Katie Raulerson as Anna; Jared Wright as Ian; Shelley McMoy as Marie; and Alyssa Green, Claire Kendra Johnson, Claire Quirk and Hannah Sizemore as Ex-Girlfriends.
Members of the ensemble include Alex Belli, Brandon Bishop, Michael Cleary, Kedrick Faulk, Bailey Higgins and Melissa Lawler.
David Callaghan is directing, with musical direction by Jennifer Hartsell. Jared Wright is serving as the student choreographer, with scenic and lighting design by Kel Laeger. Costume design is by Emily Gill. Kyle Moore is serving as the technical director. Stage management is by Shelby Mays, with assistant stage management by Jimmy Boynton.
The book for High Fidelity: A Musical is by David Lindsay-Abaire and lyrics are by Amanda Green. Music is by Tom Kitt, who later won a Pulitzer Prize for Drama for his score for Next to Normal.
Al.com’s Martin Reed wrote about UM’s upcoming performance following interviews with Callaghan and some of the cast members, as well as with College of Business Instructor Amiee Mellon, who in mid-February began a campaign with one of her classes to invite John Cusack to campus for the production. While Cusack has sent his best wishes for the production, we do not expect to see him at UM. Regardless, it provided a fantastic learning opportunity for the students involved in the effort. See Reed’s story here.
The UM Green Fund has recently issued its latest call for proposals. The fund is a pool of money used to provide grants for campus projects that improve sustainability, decrease our ecological footprint and educate the University and local communities about sustainable practices, environmental issues and caring for the planet.
Proposals for this grant period, which has $3,287 available, are due by Friday, May 1. Funds will be available through Saturday, Aug. 15.
Any member of the UM community, including students and student groups, can write a Green Fund grant proposal. Details are available online.
|From left to right: Courtney Bennett (program assistant), Olivia Ricks, Kelly Haberstoh, Ryan Gillespie, Taylor Gibson, Ali Junkins, Megan Rawlinson, Keisha Williams, Cebastian Cardozo, Donnie Bennett, Rosemary Austin, Nathan Harper, Keyanna Kinloch, Anna Greer, Jade Harden, Jennifer Payne, Ebonie Johnson, Hollie Cost (director) and Whitney Quiniones.|
Twenty-one University of Montevallo Falcon Scholars in Action were honored for their service at an annual appreciation dinner held April 16 on the UM campus. Falcon Scholars and their guests were joined by Community Services Manager Reggie Holloway and Shelby County Chief Operating Officer Phil Burns, as well as social services agency directors and staff members of UM’s Office of Service Learning and Community Engagement (OSLACE).
The welcome was given by UM President John W. Stewart III and UM student Quincy Hall provided piano music for the evening. Holloway, who gave the invocation, also spoke passionately about the program at the event.
A collaboration between UM and Shelby County Community Services, the Falcon Scholars in Action Program was launched in 2009. Each year, up to 25 students are accepted into this highly competitive program, where they volunteer for one full year at local non-profit agencies. Students receive a stipend, which is funded by the county. Their services may include tutoring; preparation for the GED/ACT/SAT; providing training in job, computer and social skills; and a variety of other service-oriented functions. The program, designed to complement the University’s curricular emphasis on service learning, accepts applications from students of any major. It provides not only invaluable hands-on experience for the students, but also emphasizes to them the value of an underlying commitment to serving others. The students’ work greatly benefits the organizations and clients for which they provide services.
“We are incredibly proud of the accomplishments and contributions of this year’s Falcon Scholars in Action,” stated Hollie Cost, director of the program. “These bright students continue to give their talents and labor to their designated agencies in so many ways. We’ve had student-led projects ranging from smoke-alarm installations to providing makeovers to women who reside in Safehouse. This showcase enabled our Falcon Scholars to present these projects to those in attendance. We are deeply grateful to Shelby County for providing this opportunity to our students and this level of support to so many deserving agencies.”
This year’s honorees included UM students Brittney Gressman, Miranda Hope Johnson, Hunter Huie, Keisha Williams and Megan Rawlinson, who served at Family Connection; Olivia Ricks and Ryan Gillespie, who served at the Juvenile Detention Facility; and Taylor Gibson, Keyanna Kinlock, Ebonie Johnson, Jade Harden and Rosemary Austin; who volunteered with Safehouse of Shelby County.
Shelby Emergency Assistance (SEA) benefitted from the efforts of Ali Junkins and Kendra Johnson, while Anna Greer and Donnie Bennett offered assistance at the Boys’ and Girls’ Club. Nathan Harper volunteered with the Shelby County Arts Council, while Ian Shippey served with ARC of Shelby County. Jennifer Payne spent her volunteer time at Owen’s House, while Whitney Quiniones volunteered at the Shelby County Museum and Archives. Kelly Haberstroh served as the Falcon Scholar Ambassador at OSLACE.
Junkins, in speaking of her experience with SEA, commented on the invaluable experience she had. “I have been lucky enough to help with launching the Smoke Alarm Initiative program, which will continue for at least another four years and which provides low-income and elderly community members with both free smoke alarms and free installations. Since October (2014), we have successfully installed alarms in 50 homes within the community,” she exclaimed.
“I am very thankful to be a part of this program, of SEA and of Falcon Scholars because it has given me such an appreciation for serving my community,” Junkins continued. “This opportunity has not only given me new perspectives, but has also taught me about humility and professionalism many times over. It’s an awesome feeling, knowing that everything you do for a given agency really makes a difference in your community. SEA is doing incredible things for Montevallo and I have so enjoyed working with these amazing, hard-working ladies.”