‘Brigadoon’ to bring Highland magic to Price stage
Oct. 9, 2009
When “Brigadoon” opens at Price Theater on Oct. 23 of Homecoming weekend, it will
feature a cast of 30 actors, an 11-piece orchestra, ever-changing scenery, scores
of authentic Scottish costumes – and a bagpiper.
“This is, by far, the biggest production we’ve done in my 15 years at LaGrange
College,” said Kim Barber Knoll, the show’s director/choreographer and Chair of
the Theatre Arts Department. “Even though the production is enormous, it contains
a very sincere, heartfelt message: If you love someone enough, anything is possible.”
The classic musical, written by
Alan Jay Lerner
, premiered on Broadway in 1947. It tells the story of two hunters from New York
City who stumble upon a mysterious village that emerges from the Scottish Highland
mists for only one day every century. The score includes such songs as "Almost
Like Being In Love," "Come to Me, Bend to Me," and "The Heather on the Hill."
Barber Knoll said “Brigadoon” has everything.
“The script is simple but funny and touching. There are three ballets
and an incredible score with 19 musical numbers,” she said. “This is also an ensemble
show. Everyone is integral to the overall story.”
The production, a collaboration between the Theatre Arts and Music departments,
has brought out the best in everyone involved, said Dr. Toni Anderson, Chair
of the Music Department.
“My biggest joy has been the opportunity to see students – a lot of them freshmen
– come in and rise to the level of artistic experience that we expect of them,”
she said. “Some of them aren’t theater or music students, but they take on the
demands we place on them – such as dancing like professional dancers and singing
like professional singers – and they have all worked so hard.”
The show also features the talents of several community members.
“The cast features Jim and Anne Short, Lawrence Blakely, Ed Biggs, and Laura and
Edward Smith and their family in the cast, and Nancy Gell as our ballet choreographer,”
Barber Knoll said. “The guest bagpiper is from Newnan.”
The Shorts, who are natives of Scotland, have been invaluable to the show, the
“Their attention to detail and emotional connection to this piece is contagious,”
Barber Knoll said.
“Jim spent hours with the cast, working with them on the dialect. He and Anne
have brought their own heritage and culture to this production, giving us an added
depth and authenticity. They are also both joyous individuals, and their
enthusiasm is infectious.”
For the first time, a student has taken on the job as lighting designer. Tom Waddington,
a senior, earned that right, according to Technical Director Nate Tomsheck.
“Student designers are not guaranteed that they will have the opportunity to design
for a main stage production,” he said. “That honor has to be earned. Tom
is the first student designer who has proven himself ready to design for the main
stage since my time at LaGrange College.”
Smith, who serves on the College’s Board of Trustees, said doing the show with
his entire family has been an education for them all.
“Our kids (Bryson and Laegan) have very much enjoyed being a part of the cast
and getting to know the students,” he said. “The hours are long, but they have
never once complained about having to get up for school after a late night at Price
Theater. And we justify keeping them out a bit later with the wonderful ‘education’
they are receiving. They just love it and Laura and I are thankful to experience
it alongside them.”
But more than that, Smith said he has a greater appreciation for the impact the
College and its programs have on its students.
“This (production) is one of the many reasons that our college transforms the
lives of its students in profound and meaningful ways,” he said. “To witness
that up close and participate in a small role has been immensely gratifying.
Combine that gratification with the remarkable family experience we’ve had and
you could say that it’s been a transformative experience for our family, as well.”
“Brigadoon” opens at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 23, followed by an 8 p.m. show Oct. 24; 7:30
p.m. performance Oct. 25, 29, 30 and a 2:30 p.m. matinee Oct. 31 and Nov. 1. Tickets
are $10 for adults and $7 for seniors, children and non-LC students. To order tickets
or for more information, call the Box Office at (706) 880-8080.