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Love, laughter and loss all part of "Brigadoon," on stage at Bethel

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NORTH NEWTON, KAN. – Bethel College’s annual Broadway at Bethel production, featuring high school students under the direction of several Bethel College faculty, staff and alumni, will bring a favorite musical comedy and love story, Brigadoon, to the Krehbiel Auditorium stage.

Broadway at Bethel is a summer camp during which the group puts together a musical theater production in the space of a week. Brigadoon will play Sunday afternoon, June 22, at 2 p.m. Tickets are $5 general admission and are available at Thresher Bookstore in Schultz Student Center on the Bethel campus (open until 5 p.m. Friday, June 20; phone 316-284-5205) or Sunday at the door.

Brigadoon was first produced in 1947 by Alan Jay Lerner (lyrics) and Frederick Loewe (music), establishing them as the successors of Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein. A movie version of Brigadoon starring Gene Kelly and Cyd Charisse came out in 1954.

Songs from Brigadoon include “I’ll Go Home with Bonnie Jean,” “The Heather on the Hill,” “Almost Like Being in Love” and “Come to Me, Bend to Me.”

Brigadoon tells the story of a magical village in Scotland that appears for only one day every hundred years, although to the villagers, the passing of each century seems like only one night. If anyone from Brigadoon should leave it, the spell will be broken and the town will vanish forever into the mist. Jeff Douglas and Tommy Albright, two American tourists, stumble on the village just before the celebration of the wedding of Jean MacLaren to Charlie Dalrymple. When Jean’s older sister, Fiona MacLaren, and Tommy fall in love, there are serious implications for the fate of Brigadoon.

Jacob Mack, Lawrence, and Julia Miller, Hesston, will play the roles of the young lovers Tommy and Fiona, with Steven Garcia, Newton, as Jeff. Megan Siebert, Topeka, will play Jean, with Douglas Bartel, Olathe, as her fiancé Charlie, and Drew Powell, Wellman, Iowa, as Harry Beaton, a young man who is madly in love with Jean. Alexandra Coker, Topeka, will play Meg Brockie, a dairy vendor who takes a liking to Jeff.

Other cast members include Joe Brichacek, Hesston, as Stuart Dalrymple; Andrew Connolly, Lawrence, as Archie Beaton; Katherine Cottrell, Lawrence, as Kate; Nicole Eaton, Dodge City, as Jane Ashton; Hope Goertzen, Hesston, as Maggie Anderson; Matt Hutton, Newton, as Angus MacGuffie; Brendan Kerr, Kansas City, Kan., as Mr. Lundie; Sara Klassen, Goshen, Ind., as Sandy Dean; Falisha Scott, Wichita, as Frankie; Sam Stucky, Moon Township, Pa., as MacGregor; Seth Williams, Newton, as Andrew MacLaren; and Sean Jones, Wichita, Trent Jones, Hutchinson, and Brent Weaver, Hutchinson, as the Sword Dancers.

Members of the Chorus of Villagers are Maddie Boorigie, Wichita; Adrienne Buss, Newton; Mattie Casad, Lawrence; Jordan Claassen, Hesston; Sierra Dirksen, Newton; Jordan Dusenbury, Andover; Matraca Ewy, Halstead; Jake Hacker, Bucyrus; Sarah Hofkamp, Peabody; Lexi Kaufman, Hutchinson; Greta Larson, Clay Center; Natalie Lassman, Lawrence; Megan Leatherman, Hesston; Jennifer McFarlin, Wamego; Alyce Murphy, Stillwater, Okla.; Ashley Newingham, North Newton; Megan Peters, Monument, Colo.; Benjamin Preheim, Lawrence; Noura Saadi, Topeka; Dalton Smith, Burrton; Caitlin Snyder, Smith Center; Abraham Stucky, Moon Township, Pa.; Cindy Watterson, Mt. Gilead, Ohio; Mycah Westhof, Newton; and Amanda Yoder, Wichita.

The stage director is John McCabe-Juhnke, professor of communication arts, with technical direction by Megan Tyner, theater instructor at Hesston College, and Toby Tyner, Bethel College assistant director of development. Cathy Crispino, Lawrence, is the music director, Annette Thornton, Appleton, Wis., is the choreographer, and Rich Toevs, Newton, is the rehearsal accompanist. Richard Tirk, Bethel assistant professor of music, is the camp director.

Crew members are Bethel graduate Ben Kliewer and students Austin McCabe-Juhnke, North Newton, Kelly Reed, Edinburg, Texas, Leanne Reimer, Hesston, Heather Robertsen, Hesston, and Oliver Whitney, Peabody.

“The attitude of the campers has been great,” said McCabe-Juhnke. “I’ve enjoyed watching these young people, who did not know one another two days ago, form such a close-knit community in such a short time. It’s an intense week. We work hard play hard. We eat, sleep, and breathe Brigadoon. And somehow miraculously at the end of the week, we have a show. What these students accomplish in a week is nothing short of amazing.”

Bethel College is a four-year liberal arts college affiliated with Mennonite Church USA. Founded in 1887, it is the oldest Mennonite college in North America. Bethel is known for its academic excellence and was the highest ranked Kansas college in the national liberal arts category of U.S. News & World Report’s listing of “America’s Best Colleges” for 2008. For more information, see the Bethel Web site at www.bethelks.edu.

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