The Austin College Theatre Department will present the student-written and directed musical Seeking Grace this week, Thursday through Saturday, (October 24-26) at 7:30 each evening in Ida Green Theatre of Ida Green Communication Center. The production is free with a valid Austin College ID; other tickets are $8 each. The dialogue includes significant profanity.
Performances by the Austin College Improv Troupe will follow each evening’s presentation of the musical.
Written and directed by senior Hannah Barry, the a cappella musical is about a group of college theatre students who are producing a play. Even-numbered scenes portray the daily lives of these college students and the emotional issues they face; odd-numbered scenes are the play their department is producing. The main character of the play is a student named Grace, and Barry said a major theme of the show is the search for one’s self. This and other metaphors throughout the show led to the title Seeking Grace, Barry said.
Barry said she has worked on this show for two years and that it is largely based on her own experiences and the lessons she has learned. “I’ve ended up describing it to people as my gift to the Austin College Theatre Department because it is my attempt to give back every lesson I have learned in four years,” she said. “I am so grateful for those lessons.”
Completing a major in public health and a minor in theatre, Barry said she sees theatre as an important vehicle for bringing change regarding public health. “Theatre is a place to have the conversations we can’t have elsewhere,” she said. “It’s difficult to talk about health and mental health. Theatre gives us a platform to address some of those issues.” She explained that public health issues often are addressed by seeking changes in how people behave. “The most effective way to change behavior is to change the social assumption they live in,” she said. “If you want to change the way people act regarding their health, change the way they understand society. …. Theatre and media can change the way we present ourselves to each other and then change the way we understand our society. “
Written and directed by Hannah Barry of Saltillo, Texas.
Members of the cast:
Zoe Crews of River Oaks, Texas, GRACE;
Austin “Kyle” Andrle of Allen, Texas, CAST;
Alexandra Baker-Livingston of Richardson, Texas, CAST;
Abigail Goodman of Austin, Texas, CAST;
Alicia Straeck of Allen, Texas, CAST;
Olivia Trusty of Fort Worth, Texas, CAST;
Reid Zimmerman of Denton, Texas, CAST;
Chloe Bachofen of Waco, Texas, CHORUS;
D’ara Henderson-Starkes of Lancaster, Texas, CHORUS;
Harper Jambor of Austin, Texas, CHORUS;
Katelyn McComack-Morris of Fredericksburg, Texas, CHORUS;
Nayeli Mieryconcha of Dallas, Texas, CHORUS & PROPS CREW; and
Abigail “Abbi” Rees of Dallas, Texas, CHORUS.
The production team:
Toni Richardson of Forestburg, Texas, MUSICAL DIRECTOR;
Kat Forbus of Plano, Texas, STAGE MANAGER;
Erin Bobbitt of Dallas, Texas, ASSISTANT STAGE MANAGER;
Kirsten Esposito of Lucas, Texas, ASSISTANT STAGE MANAGER;
Rayanne Seymour of Stafford, Texas, CHOREOGRAPHER;
Chloe Schnaible of Allen, Texas, HOUSE MANAGER;
Sonia Charales of Sunnyvale, Texas, COSTUME DESIGNER;
Saif Ahmad of Frisco, Texas, PROPS MASTER;
Siran Berberian of Dallas, LIGHTING CREW;
William Bridgwater of Hamilton, Texas, LIGHTING CREW;
Kiara Bilberry of Kansas City, Missouri, LIGHTING CREW;
Christian Ghermay of Plano, Texas, LIGHTING CREW;
Harrison Vickmark of McAllen, Texas, LIGHTING CREW;
Micah Weber of Fort Worth, Texas, LIGHTING CREW;
Antony Ksendzoff of Dallas, Texas, SOUND BOARD OPERATOR;
Sofia Ramirez- Quintana of Plano, Texas, LIGHT BOARD OPERATOR; and
Shannon Fischer of Keller, Texas, PROPS CREW.
Liz Banks, theatre faculty, is lighting designer. Dan Pucul, theatre technical coordinator, is set designer.
Austin College, a private national liberal arts college located north of Dallas in Sherman, Texas, has earned a reputation for excellence in academic preparation, international study, pre-professional foundations, leadership development, committed faculty, and hands-on, adventurous learning opportunities. One of 40 schools profiled in Loren Pope’s influential book Colleges That Change Lives, Austin College boasts a welcoming community that embraces diversity and individuality, with more than 50 percent of students identifying as persons of color. The residential student body of approximately 1,300 students and more than 100 expert faculty members allow a 13:1 student-faculty ratio and personalized attention. This year, the campus recognizes 100 years of co-education and has had several opportunities to recognize the history of women and accomplishments of current alumnae. Austin College is related by covenant to the Presbyterian Church (USA) and cultivates an inclusive atmosphere that supports students’ faith journeys regardless of religious tradition. Founded in 1849, the College is the oldest institution of higher education in Texas operating under original name and charter.