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Tidewater Stage Announces Sophomore Season

By Amanda Morad | March 25, 2014

Regent University's professional theatre company, Tidewater Stage, had a sold-out, critically acclaimed inaugural season last summer. The company has now announced two exciting shows for summer 2014.

With a "Season of Southern Charm," Tidewater Stage will open this year with the hilarious country music revue Pump Boys and Dinettes June 20-29 and the award-winning Driving Miss Daisy August 1-10.

"The summer of 2013 brought the fulfillment of a decade-long dream for Regent University—the launching of a professional theatre company in residence," said Eric Harrell, the company's artistic director. "Tidewater Stage has elevated Regent's theatre program into the ranks of premier graduate schools across the country and unveiled a new gem in the cultural landscape of Hampton Roads."

The inaugural season brought in five theatre professionals from major markets and saw many of Regent's graduate students hired both on and back stage, giving them valuable, professional work experience. Utilizing a mix of professional theatre artists, resident faculty and staff, and exceptional alumni and students, Tidewater Stage will continue this year to produce first-rate entertainment that inspires with pathos and uplifts with humor.

"We are committed to growing Tidewater Stage into a regional arts presence that is known for saturating every detail of production in excellence," Harrell explained at a recent fundraising event for the company. "Whether it's enhancing the education and training of our students through professional opportunities, producing quality theatre on par with the best regional theatres in the country, giving all those tourists yet another reason to visit Coastal Virginia each summer, or creating a haven for professional Christian theatre artists to work and be encouraged, Tidewater Stage has a tremendously bright future."

Season tickets go on sale April 21.

"Audiences will be hollering for more as we celebrate the indomitable Southern spirit," Harrell explained. "With our Southern roots, the second season of Tidewater Stage is a love song to family, friends and fried chicken!"

Pump Boys and Dinettes takes place in (very) rural, North Carolina, deep in Grand Ole Opry country, where the "Pump Boys" sell high octane on Highway 57, and the "Dinettes" serve up plenty of pie and sass at the Double Cupp Diner next door. Together they fashion an evening of country and bluegrass music with heartache and hilarity, performing the stories of their lives on guitars, piano, bass and even kitchen utensils. Harrell will direct.

Driving Miss Daisy has become a household name since the 1989 feature film adaptation staring Jessica Tandy and Morgan Freeman won four Academy Awards. "But it's even better on the stage," Harrell assured. The story follows Daisy Werthan, a sharp-tongued Jewish widow, in postwar Atlanta. She's demolished her car—again. Ornery and uninsurable, she is forced to rely on the services of gentle, soft-spoken Hoke, an African American chauffeur. What begins as a hostile and suspicious pairing blossoms into a friendship for the ages. Michael Kirkland, chair of Regent's theatre arts department, will direct.

Open auditions for both productions will be held Saturday, April 5.

Learn more about Tidewater Stage. To stay updated, join the Tidewater Stage Facebook group.

Learn more about the School of Communication & the Arts.

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Mindy Hughes, Public Relations

Phone: 757.352.4095 Fax: 757.352.4888

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