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Carey Dinner Theatre to present “Sing Out Sweet Land”

Hattiesburg, Miss., July 5, 2012 - William Carey University’s Carey Dinner Theatre (CDT) will present the folk musical “Sing Out Sweet Land!” July 10 -21.  Performances are in the Joe and Virginia Tatum Theatre on the Hattiesburg campus of WCU.

Corporate sponsor W. A. Warren Asphalt Paving Contractors and co-sponsor Regions Bank support the 37th season of CDT.

“’Sing Out, Sweet Land!’ was written by Walter Kerr, the renowned twentieth century drama critic. It is a musical journey through early American folk music, dance, and life as seen through the eyes of Barnaby Goodchild.  The Puritan society in which the lad lives forbids “frivolity.” 

“When Barnaby is discovered singing and dancing, he is sentenced to sing and dance through history,” said Sam Sparks, the show’s director. “Barnaby embodies the youthful spirit of early American life.”

Barnaby makes the most of his punishment by stopping many places along the way, including a Civil War battlefield, the movement west on the Oregon Trail, early railroading in Texas, and the Roaring Twenties.  Songs, taken from the American folk tradition, include “Big Rock Candy Mountain,” “Casey Jones,” “Frankie and Johnny,” “Sewanee River,” and “Blue Tail Fly,” which helped to make original cast member Burl Ives famous. Dr. Connie Roberts, professor of music, is musical director for the production.

“Sing Out, Sweet Land” also features traditional American dance, choreographed by Melissa Beauvais, including folk, colonial round dance, and the cake walk.

“Songs like ‘Yankee Doodle,’ ‘Sewanee,’ ‘Casey Jones,’ and ‘While Strolling Through The Park,’ are just some of the many classic American folk songs that our audience will know,” said Sparks. “Of particular interest to us (the cast of CDT) have been the songs that have almost been forgotten to contemporary American culture.”

 The character of Barnaby is portrayed by Jason Piglia of Picayune.  Each member of the ensemble, including Vickie Hall of White Oak, Kevar Maffitt of Olive Branch, Christopher Marshall of Memphis, Carissa Read of Laurel, Benjamin Salters of Ocean Springs, and Megan Voorhies of Pineville, La., play multiple characters.  Pianist is Carlos Casilla Nova, who is from the Dominican Republic, and guitarist is Zach Lancaster of Picayune.

Scenery is designed by Cody Stockstill, with lighting designed by Tim Matheny.  Chris Wooten is the costume designer.  The support staff consists of Jana Barkley of Picayune, Billy Burkes of Meridian, Gabby D’Arcangelo of Southaven, Kevin Delaney, Katie Hardeman of Southaven, Michelle O’Hehir of Meridian, Chris Permenter of Hattiesburg, Katie Rives of Meridian, and Abi Wiggins of Senatobia.

The box office is open daily except Sundays from 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. To make reservations call 601-318-6221. Dinner is served at 7 and the performance follows. There are no performances on Sunday or Monday. The ticket price of $29 includes buffet, show, sales tax and program.

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Caption: 
Christopher Marshall of Memphis, Carissa Read of Laurel, Vickie Hall of White Oak, Benjamin Salters of Ocean Springs, Jason Piglia of Picayune, Megan Voorhies of Pineville, La., and Kevar Maffitt of Olive Branch, rehearse a scene from the Carey Dinner Theatre (CDT) presentation of the folk musical “Sing Out, Sweet Land!” Performances are in the Joe and Virginia Tatum Theatre on the Hattiesburg campus of WCU July 10-21.