July 17, 2011
Several MTSU alumni will return to the stage of Tucker Theatre this July for the Southeast regional premier of “Fame Forever: Talent Springs Eternal.”
The show runs from Thrusday-Sunday and is presented by Circle Players, Middle Tennessee’s oldest community theatre.
The Circle Players production is at the request of 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 Dorothe Tucker, the former head of the department and namesake of Tucker Theatre. Arnold, who graduated in 1981 with a B.F.A. in commercial art, now has two grown daughters, both also MTSU alumni with degrees in theatre.
“I get a little nostalgic; so much has changed,” Arnold said. “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 has the role of Joe Vegas, a former student who comes back to his alma mater for a 20th high school reunion. He hopes his daughters will join many other MTSU alumni in attending the performances, which will also be attended by De Silva and his producer, Dan Shaheen.
“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.”
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 has high praise for 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 at 7:30 p.m. Thursday-Saturday with a 2 p.m. matinee Sunday at the Tucker Theatre on the MTSU campus, 1824 Blue Raider Drive.
There will be a special post-show Gala Reception following opening night with David De Silva and his producer Dan Shaheen in attendance.
Tickets are $18 for adults, $15 for students and seniors (60 and up.) Children 6 and under attend free. Group discounts are available.
Tickets can be purchased online at www.circleplayers.net or by phone 615-332-7529.
Individual tickets will be on sale at the box office at the Tucker Theatre one hour before each performance.
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