Published on August 10, 2016 by Ashley Smith  
SOTA schedule

Samford University’s 2016–17 theatre, dance and opera seasons feature a variety of shows for all audiences. 

The Michael J. and Mary Anne Freeman Theatre and Dance Series begins Oct. 21 with the Theatre for Youth production of Charles Way’s Sleeping Beauty. The classic tale, full of mythical creatures, relies on the strength of friendship and the power of family to overcome great odds. Performances are Oct. 21–22 at 7:30 p.m. and Oct. 23 at 2:30 p.m. 

Don Sandley, theatre and dance department chair, celebrates his 20th year with Samford Arts and notes that this season offers something for everyone from theatre for youth to music, dance and more.  

“This year, we are celebrating American roots in theatre,” Sandley said. Sleeping Beauty shares a classic childhood story. Nice Work If You Can Get It features the music of America’s great composers George and Ira Gershwin. The Crucible is a standout in American literature, and we will create an original production that will reflect upon our American heritage.” 

Nice Work if You Can Get Itopens Dec. 1. Set in the rip-roaring 1920s, the musical tells the story of charming and wealthy Jazz Age millionaire Jimmy Winter who gets involved with bootleggers, chorus girls, gold diggers and politicians, all on the weekend of his wedding at his glorious Long Island mansion. Performances are Dec. 1–3 at 7:30 p.m. and Dec. 4 at 2:30 p.m. in Harrison Theatre. 

Samford’s Dance Company will present new works and favorites from its repertoire in the annual spring concert Feb. 16–18 at 7:30 p.m. 

In March, the Michael J. and Mary Anne Freeman Theatre and Dance Series will feature Arthur Miller’s The Crucible, the passionate allegory of courage and justice in a world fraught with greed and vengeance. Set against the backdrop of the Salem witch trials, Miller created one of the landmark works of American theatre from his experience before the McCarthy hearings in 1952. Performances available to the public are March 23–25 at 7:30 p.m. and March 26 at 2:30 p.m. in Harrison Theatre. 

The Musical Theatre: New Works Initiative explores musical theatre through workshopping a panel-selected score and libretto for a new original work. Story telling is combined with music and movement as students take part in shaping the great American tradition of musical theatre, Sandley said. This event is April 6–8 at 7:30 p.m. and April 9 at 2:30 in Brock Recital Hall. 

In addition to the Freeman Theatre and Dance Series, the Dr. Chandler and Jane Paris Smith Opera Series will feature two events. 

The fall Opera Workshop is Nov. 4–5 in Bolding Studio, and Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro is April 27–29 at 7:30 p.m. and April 30 at 2:30 p.m. This comic masterpiece takes the audience on a madcap journey of love, intrigue, jealousy and forgiveness. 

Tickets are $10 for students and $30 for reserved seats. Tickets can purchased online or by calling the Samford box office at 205-726-2853.   

Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.