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Circle Players' Presents Regional Premiere of FAME FOREVER, 7/21-7/24

July 5, 2011
by Jeffrey Ellis

Several Middle Tennessee State University alumni return to the stage of Tucker Theatre this July for the Southeast regional premier of Fame Forever: Talent Springs Eternal. Presented by Circle Players, Middle Tennessee's oldest community theater, the show runs from July 21-24.

Circle Players' production comes as the result of a request by creator David De Silva, and is a sequel to De Silva's original 1980 movie and musical Fame. Among the cast in Circle's July performances are MTSU alumni Jamie London, Erin Spencer, Elizabeth Walsh and David Arnold.

The last time Arnold sat in a classroom of the MTSU Theatre Department, he was an acting student of Dorothea Tucker, the former head of the department , for whom the Tucker Theatre is named. Arnold, who graduated in 1981 with a B.F.A. in commercial art [and was a cartoonist for Sidelines, the student newspaper, when I was editor in chief of that publication], now has two grown daughters, both of whom have degrees in theater from MTSU.

"I get a little nostalgic; so much has changed," says Arnold. "The campus has definitely changed for the better, the city has grown. It's very different, but I'm also very excited about coming back."

Arnold returns to an MTSU stage after several decades of work as a commercial artist while performing regional theatre on the side. In Fame Forever he plays Joe Vegas, a former student who comes back to his alma mater for a 20th high school reunion. Arnold hopes his daughters will join many other MTSU alumni in the audience and have the chance to meet De Silva and his producer, Dan Shaheen, both of whom will be on hand for the show's run.

"It's going to be a big theatre event, and I think it'll be of interest to people in Murfreesboro. The location indicates it's something special, plus there is the added excitement of having the creator of the show directly involved," Arnold says.

De Silva, based in New York, became a fan of Circle Players after its highly successful 2009 production of Fame. In that show, Arnold played an acting teacher. When the production ended, De Silva asked Circle to present the sequel he was working on at the time. The script is loosely based on the 1935 novella Forever by Mildred Cram.

In Fame Forever: Talent Springs Eternal, Carmen, a troubled drug addict who dropped out of school and died of an overdose, comes back as a spirit and gets a chance to see how her life influenced the lives of her classmates as they gather for their high school reunion.

De Silva heaped praise on Middle Tennessee's oldest community theatre company: "I think Circle Players is one of the best amateur theatre groups in the country, because of its talent, the age range of everyone involved, because of the ethnic diversity, the quality of people and their commitment on all levels of a production."

Fame Forever: Talent Springs Eternal runs Thursday through Sunday, July 21 - 24, at the Tucker Theatre on the MTSU campus, 1824 Blue Raider Drive, in Murfreesboro. There will be a special post-show Gala Reception following opening night with De Silva and Shaheen in attendance. Show times are 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, with a Sunday matinee at 2 p.m. Tickets are $18 for adults, $15 for students and seniors (60 and up.) Children six and under attend free. Group discounts are available. Tickets can be purchased online at www.circleplayers.net or by phone (615) 332-7529.

 

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