JBU season includes ‘Play That Goes Wrong,’ ‘Glass Menagerie,’ ‘Addams Family’

JBU season includes ‘Play That Goes Wrong,’ ‘Glass Menagerie,’ ‘Addams Family’

The performance programs at John Brown University in Siloam Springs are arguably most visible during the Christmas season. Every year, candlelight services at the Cathedral of the Ozarks bring together “our favorite hymns, scriptures, glowing lights, and our glorious Cathedral Choir,” says Mary Patterson, Music and Theater events and publicity coordinator for JBU.

“The level of musical quality is always worth coming to hear,” she enthuses. “We recognize the great responsibility it is to uphold this legacy of music and lights for the community of Northwest Arkansas, and we prioritize this event every winter.”

But JBU also has 25 music majors and 15 theater minors who will present a complete season of entertainment this year, beginning Sept. 29 with “The Play That Goes Wrong.”

“Many of the students in music and theater productions are either Integrated Music, Music Education, Music Theater, Performing Arts, or Worship Arts [majors],” Patterson says. “We are fortunate to have an abundance of students who major in other fields, such as Graphic Design, Bible and Theology, Pre-law, Marketing, English, join us in many of our productions. The music and theater program is at the heart of our university, and we encourage all students to audition for ensembles at the beginning of each semester.

“Discussions between Josiah Wallace, Liesl Dromi and Lisa Auten start in early spring of the previous year to determine the productions for the following season,” she adds. “The decision is a collaborative effort between the Music and Theater department as a whole.”

Although JBU has hosted a number of touring performances in the past couple of years, this year, Patterson says, “we aim to nourish and grow the presence that we have in our community.”

“We see the value that our programs and facilities have for the community as a whole, and hosting events gives us the opportunity to open our doors to more and more people,” she says. “Covid was hard for higher education, and we did our best to adapt. It was also difficult for businesses. We are unique in that we fit into both of these categories and want to focus our efforts caring for our Music and Theater programs that remain at the core of our university.”

On the schedule for 2023-24 are:

“The Play That Goes Wrong” — “For our season opening show, students, staff, and faculty have been working all summer to build the set with collapsible balconies, falling pieces, and sudden stage movement,” Patterson says. “It will be a really fun and engaging start to the season. Josiah Wallace, our theater professor, attended a production of ‘The Play That Goes Wrong’ in London several years ago and still considers it the funniest play he has ever seen.” Sept. 29-30, Oct. 6-7.

“The Addams Family” — “‘The Addams Family’ is currently the most popular production for amateur musical theater organizations to put together on stage,” Patterson says. “Everyone knows the story and loves the music, especially now with the recent popularity of the Netflix show. We look forward to featuring the original artwork of Josiah Wallace in the set backdrop.” Oct. 27-28, Nov. 2-4.

“The Glass Menagerie” — Tennessee Williams’ “timeless masterpiece moves with the characters Tom, Amanda, and Laura on a journey of struggle, hope, and meaning in world that has left them behind. Based on a literary classic, students of all ages can immerse themselves in this story,” Patterson says. Feb. 9-10, 16-17.

“Fly By Night” – “A sweeping ode to young love, this production takes place in our intimate Jones Recital Hall,” Patterson says. “Set against the backdrop of the Northeast blackout of 1965, ‘Fly By Night’ is a tale about making your own way and discovering hope in a world beset by darkness. Relatable, right? This poignant musical will resonate with your heart.” April 11-13.



JBU is offering a season ticket package good for those four shows at $45 adults, $30 seniors and $20 students at jbu.edu/tickets.

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