By Michaela Jimson '22
Photos by David Pulliam
Bright Star, the entertaining musical of enduring love, family ties, and the light of forgiveness that shines from a bright star, is scheduled for performances Nov. 20-23 at Catawba College. Performances will be held in Hedrick Little Theatre at the Robertson College-Community Center.
Bright Star tells a beguiling tale that unfolds in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina between 1923 and 1946. Billy Cane, a young soldier just home from World War II, meets Alice Murphy, the brilliant editor of a Southern literary journal. Together, they discover a powerful secret that alters their lives.
David Pulliam, the visionary director and set director behind the musical, says "Bright Star is fantastic. It is that rarest of rare birds: a genuinely original, new American musical. The music is gorgeous and completely captivating, and the story is heartfelt and very sweet. I am excited to share it with our audiences. I know they will adore it."
Steve Martin, award-winning screenwriter and playwright, and Edie Brickell, chart-topping singer-songwriter, collaborated on the musical, inspired by their Grammy Award-winning "Love Has Come for You." The musical features nearly 20 bluegrass and Americana songs with a touch of rock. The musical was nominated for five Tony Awards, including Best Musical, Best Score and Best Book. The musical was performed on Broadway in 2016 and toured nationally in 2017-'18.
The Catawba production features the creative team of Pulliam; Christopher Zink, lighting designer; and Kassandra Tuttle, costume designer. Graycen Murray is the stage manager, and Isabella Morrison is the assistant stage manager.
Student actors include: Elizabeth Lackey as Alice Murphy, Garrett Jennings as Billy Cane, Dominic Masotti as Jimmy Ray Dobbs, David Hamilton as Mayor Josiah Dobbs, Miranda Sibbett as Margo Crawford, Josh Wainright as Daddy Cane, Andy Abramson as Daddy Murphy, Caroline Forrester as Mama Murphy/Dance Captain, Swing Dance, Nunna Noe as Lucy Grant, Zachary Karvon as Daryl Ames, Jameson Clanton as Stanford Adams/Ensemble, Krissey Browder as Florence/Ensemble/Dance Captain for Clogging, Claire Raimist as Edna/Ensemble/Spirit, Sarah Rasey as Government Clerk/Ensemble/Spirit, Mollie Wasserman as Well-Dressed Woman/Ensemble/Spirit, Chandler Fields as Max/Ensemble, Jackson Chapin as Stationmaster/Ensemble/ Dance Captain for Swing Dance, Matthew Windsor as Dr. Norquist/Ensemble/Hambone/Dance Captain, Sarah Ann Burke as Ensemble, Julia Dick as Ensemble, Robert Parks as Ensemble.
The crew consists of Kenzie Cloninger, light board operator/programmer; Donna Owens, sound board operator; Elizabeth Ruiz, assistant sound board operator and mic wrangler; Gracie Poore and Michelle Medina, wardrobe/dresser, Fatima Robinson, Arris Baldwin, Trey Germano, and Jamarius Wall, running crew, and Wyatt Byrd and Colleen Welday, follow spot operators.
Tickets are free for all Catawba students, faculty, and staff, $15 for adults, and $10 for non-Catawba students and senior adults.
Tickets are also free for students attending Rowan-Cabarrus Community College and Davidson County Community College, with their current college student ID. This is part of Catawba's new "Stay Local Initiative."
Tickets are available for purchase online at www.catawba.edu/theatretix or via phone by calling (704) 637-4481.