Stephen F. Austin State University

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Student life depicted in SFA theatre's original 'Purple Daze'

March 13, 2012 - Sylvia Bierschenk
NACOGDOCHES, TEXAS - Since January, 15 Stephen F. Austin State University theatre students and their directors have been collaborating on the script, rehearsing lines and perfecting musical numbers for the upcoming performances of "Purple Daze: A Student's Guide to Surviving Four (or More) Years At SFA."

The (New) Original Cast, the School of Theatre's musical cabaret troupe, will present the play at 7:30 p.m. Friday, March 23; at 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 24; and at 2 p.m. Sunday, March 25. All shows are in the Downstage Theatre of the Griffith Fine Arts Building.

The students drew on their own college experiences as they developed the characters and their plot lines, explained Jason Davids Scott, SFA assistant professor of theatre who began directing the troupe this year along with Toni Smith, visiting assistant professor.

"They're gaining first-hand experience with creating their own work, a particularly valuable skill since actors often need to do this as they start their careers," Scott continued.

The 25 scenes included in "Purple Daze" are representative of the variety of issues college students face, including establishing their independence, dealing with community bathrooms and roommates, juggling academics and a part-time job, and working out relationships.

"It's a fun and upbeat show," said Lancaster senior Lamar Jefferson. "But there are also some serious moments, just as there are in any college student's life."

And just as a wide variety of music is ever-present for many students, the script is interlaced with songs from rock, folk, and musical theatre genres, Jefferson added.

"We've had a great time devising 'Purple Daze' out of nothing but our experiences and imagination," said Dallas senior Jennifer Suter. "We're really looking forward to sharing it with our friends and the community."

The show is recommended for mature audiences.

Tickets are $8 for adults and $5 for seniors and students. For tickets or more information, please go to www.finearts.sfasu.edu or call (936) 468-6407.