Gala to celebrate 50 years of theater

Live entertainment, hor d’oeuvres, door prizes and a cash bar throughout the evening are what guests can expect at Sam Houston State University’s Department of Theatre and Dance 2006-2007 Annual Scholarship Gala. This year the department will put on a preview performance of The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, choreographed by Jonathan Charles, one of the department professors, and directed by Theatre Chair, Penny Hasekoester.

“This year we’re hoping to raise $50,000 in honor of our 50-year anniversary of becoming a degree giving program,” said Kandice Harris, Theatre Manager. “We always hope the gala is a bigger success than the year before, money and attendance wise,” she said.

All proceeds at the event are given to the department’s students in form of scholarships. Theatre and dance students participate in the gala by providing the entertainment and serving the guests.

“We cater to the patrons and make sure they’re having a good time,” said junior, theatre major Brandi Lee. “We want to ensure the patrons that we appreciate their generous donations,” she said.

Along with celebrating its 50th anniversary, the Department of Theatre and Dance is celebrating a year of firsts. All year the department will perform shows performed when theatre and dance first became degree-giving programs. Shows such as, The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, the first musical performed by the musical theatre program, The Nutcracker, the first full length ballet performed by the dance program, and Twelfth Night, the first Shakespearian comedy performed by the speech and drama department, can be enjoyed throughout the 2006-2007 season.

The scholarship gala will be held at 6 p.m. Saturday, October 7, at the University Theatre Center. “This is our way to help support our students financially, as well as show the community what our department is capable of,” Harris said. Tickets are $60 at the door. Dress is after five attire.

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