George Fox’s theatre department presents ‘Sunday in the Park with George’ as winter musical

January 17th, 2017

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Shows scheduled Jan. 26-29 and Feb 2-5 in school’s Wood-Mar Auditorium

thumb-sunday-in-the-parkNEWBERG, Ore. – George Fox University’s theatre department will present a musical about art, artists and the people who love them when the Pulitzer Prize- and Tony Award-winning play Sunday in the Park with George takes the university’s stage in late January and early February.

Directed by Rhett Luedtke, professor of theatre at George Fox, the production will be presented Thursday through Saturday, Jan. 26-29, and again Thursday through Sunday, Feb. 2-5, in the university’s Wood-Mar Auditorium. All shows begin at 7:30 p.m. with the exception of the two Sunday performances, scheduled as 2 p.m. matinees.

Tickets – $14 for general admission, $10 for seniors and George Fox alumni, and $8 for students and children under 12 – can be purchased online at Tickets are also available for purchase in the university’s box office, located in the Bruin Store, between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Monday through Friday, or in the lobby box office one hour prior to each production.

Inspired by the painting “A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grand Jatte” by Georges Seurat (1886), Stephen Sondheim’s Sunday in the Park with George brings the past and present together as it reveals powerful truths about life, love and the challenges of creating art.

The first act explores what Seurat might have experienced as he painted his masterpiece and the struggles he had in maintaining any consistent personal relationships with people who mattered most in his life. The second act jumps to 1984 to tell the story of Seurat’s imaginary great-grandson, George, as he tries to maintain his success as an artist in a postmodern world dominated by the latest trends, cynicism and money.

“The themes in Sunday in the Park with George hit close to home for me as a theatre artist,” Luedtke said. “When does my creative drive and passion to create meaningful work negatively impact my relationships with my family and friends? Is compromise possible in the quest for excellence? Is excellence worth the loss of relationships, or vice versa? In short, does the quest for artistic authenticity have to be a lonely journey, or is there room for authentic human connection along the way?”

The cast includes Nate Ayers (“George”), a senior theatre major from Loomis, Calif.; Sarah Aldrich (“Dot/Marie”), a junior theatre major from Mulino, Ore.; Reid Arthur (“Louis/Dennis”), a freshman theatre major from Medford, Ore.; Cora Beeman (“Frieda/Betty”), a sophomore theatre major from Bellevue, Wash.; Hope Bellinger (“Celeste#2/Waitress”), a freshman theatre major from Ocean Park, Wash.; Michaela Conley (“Celese#1/Elaine”), a senior theatre major from Redmond, Ore.; Travis Cox (“Mr./Lee”), a freshman theatre major from Newberg, Ore.; Jesse Groat (“Boatman/Billy”), a junior theatre and music double major from Newberg, Ore.; Joshua Harding (“Solider/Alex”), a freshman elementary education major from Portland, Ore.; Jacob Hoglund (“Franz/Redmond”), a senior music major from Portland, Ore.; Ella Kaye (“Yvonne/Naomi”), a senior business administration major from Portland, Ore.; Lisa Leyendekker (“Nurse/Harriet”), a junior theatre major from Sunnyside, Wash.; Nathaniel Read (“Jules/Greenberg”), a freshman psychology major from Camano Island, Wash.; Lauren Vander Aarde (“Old Lady/Blaire”), a sophomore theatre and history double major from Vancouver, Wash.; and Emily Warner (“Mrs./Photographer”), a senior theatre major from Renton, Wash.

The George Fox University theatre department has been recognized by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington D.C. with awards for individual acting, set design, and overall production.

George Fox University is ranked by Forbes among the top Christian universities in the country and is a Christian college classified by U.S. News & World Report as a first-tier regional university. More than 4,000 students attend classes on the university’s campus in Newberg, Ore., and at teaching centers in Portland, Salem and Redmond, Ore. George Fox offers bachelor’s degrees in more than 40 majors, degree-completion programs for working adults, six seminary degrees, and 13 master’s and doctoral degrees.


Rhett Luedtke
Professor of Theatre, George Fox University

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