Theatre@UAFS will present a special performance of the award-winning production of “Side Man” at 7 p.m. Feb. 16, at the Alma Performing Arts Center. Proceeds from ticket sales will help enable UAFS theatre students to travel to Abilene, Texas, where they will compete at the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival for Region 6.
“This is the sixth time in 13 years we’ve been selected to perform at the regional level, which places us in the top two schools in the five-state region in terms of success in the KC/ACTF program,” said professor Bob Stevenson, head of the Communication and Theatre Arts Department at UAFS. “That’s a pretty good track record, and it means that at least every other year we produce a show that is in the top 40 college shows in the nation. I think in any sports world that would be called a dynasty.”
“Side Man” is the story of Clifford, who is forced into adulthood by his father Gene, a jazz trumpet player, and his alcoholic mother, Terry. As rock ‘n roll begins to grow in popularity, threatening Gene’s career, Clifford begs his father to find a more stable job, resulting in Gene choosing music over his son.
“We spent an immense amount of time in the fall developing this show for the Arkansas State Festival, and all of that hard work has paid off,” said Andrew Snyder, visiting instructor of theater from Texarkana, Texas, who is directing this production. “The cast and crew have continued to grow and work tirelessly as we gear up for this fantastic opportunity, and I cannot wait until we can share it with everyone.”
“This has been the most immersive experience I have had in the theatre,” added actress and UAFS student Margie Barragan. “Working up to regionals, we have seen the show grow into the beautiful story it was written to be. It’s been real.”
Stevenson said that, in addition to bringing more recognition to the theatre program, this festival performance, which will take place Feb. 23-28, will benefit the student learning as well.
“They get to tour this production to a different state, go to workshops provided by industry professionals, and show off all the hard work they’re doing, while also looking for opportunities beyond the confines of school,” he said. “Many of our students who attend this festival will find grad schools or sources of future employment that week.”
Tickets are $10 for general admission or $100 for a supporter donation ticket. All area students will be admitted free. Tickets will be available at the door or through the UAFS Box Office.