Troy ‘29’ production to make its way to bigger stage

Lacey Alexander

Staff Writer

Troy theater students will travel to South Carolina at the end of this month to compete in individual events and present a Troy University faculty-written musical in a regional festival.

The Troy University Department of Theatre and Dance will present a production of “29” at the regional Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival or KCACTF. The festival hosts college theater students from nine states and will take place at the College of Charleston in Charleston, South Carolina, on Feb. 2-6.

Tori Lee Averett, chair of the Department of Theatre and Dance, said that the show was selected through a competitive process that required the show to be seen by respondents who would judge the show’s design and performances. A higher committee then read the respondent’s comments and decided the six shows that would be presented at the festival.

“’29’ represents that this institution (Troy) has high quality training,” Averett said. “New things are happening in pieces like ‘29’ and in places like Troy.”

“29” was performed for an audience at Troy University last semester in October. The production was performed in the Blackbox Theatre in upstairs Malone but was selected to perform on the final night on the main stage at the festival.

“29,” a musical about 10 young adults on the verge of turning 30, was written by Gaby Alter and Tommy Newman. Newman teaches playwriting and musical theater courses at Troy.

Newman, who is also serving as director for the musical, said that the transition to a larger theater was the main focus of their rehearsal.

“What a fantastic honor and an exciting opportunity for our students to try this new piece of theatre out in front of a larger audience,” Newman said. “We recognize that we have a great deal of work still to do… but we are working in high gear.”

The festival will include a showing of six shows and a multitude of competitive events in both technical theater and performance. As well as inviting the show to perform at the festival, 20 university students were asked to compete in their respective categories at the regional level.

Theater education major Josh Feemster was one of six selected from a group of nominees to direct a ten-minute play at the festival. Feemster was the only Alabama student to receive the honor.

“I have the opportunity to be a part of a new generation of theatre,” said Feemster, a senior from Guntersville. “I am really excited to be a part of a collaborative team… the playwright I get to work with might be the next Tennessee Williams.”

Averett also said that she was grateful for the university’s support of the trip.

“They’re investing in us,” Averett said. “We could be in a situation where we had to decline this invitation because our university didn’t support us going… For me it is a true show of how supportive our administration is of our department and the work we do with these students.”

“29” will perform in the Crosby Theater at Troy on January 30th for the public.

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