LMU play highlights lives of select alumni

Published 3:34 pm Thursday, September 29, 2022

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The Lincoln Memorial University Paul V. Hamilton School of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences and The LMU Players will celebrate the University’s 125th anniversary with an original play. “Illuminating the Blue and Gray: Stories of LMU’s Alumni,” will be presented Wednesday as part of LMU’s annual Homecoming festivities. The production, which is free for everyone to attend, will take place at 7 p.m. in the Sam and Sue Mars Performing Arts Center at Duke Hall of Citizenship on the main campus of LMU.

Playwright Joe Gill, assistant professor of theatre, wrote the play as a “sort of love letter about our beautiful Blue and Gray – our Lincoln Memorial University.” The drama “illuminates our stories from fellow alumni, some living and some with us in spirit,” he said.

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“This production shares experiences of alumni, presidents and people who have felt LMU’s true beauty and magnificent potential,” Gill said. “It’s the stories of their experiences with teachers, love of the land and fondness for their alma mater, told through monologues, song, poetry and use of projections.”

The theme for this year’s Homecoming is “Four Seasons to New Seasons.” It highlights the University’s humble beginnings on the grounds of the then-defunct Four Seasons Hotel. In 1896, Reverend A.A. Myers, who was running the Harrow Academy, invited Civil War General Oliver Otis Howard to speak at the school’s graduation ceremony. During the visit, Myers shared his vision for an institution of higher education on the site of the Four Seasons. Howard recalled a conversation he had with President Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War, where Lincoln expressed a wish to repay the Appalachian people for their loyalty. Howard agreed to assist Myers by building a school that would serve as a living memorial to Lincoln while providing educational opportunities for underserved populations. LMU was founded on the anniversary of Lincoln’s birth in 1897, nestled in the Cumberland Gap at the site of the Four Seasons Hotel.

LMU community members make up the ensemble cast, which includes Clayton Baker, Katie Harber Chumley, Theo Czepiel, Joe Johnson, Jaeger Keeline, Sam Lancaster, Ellie Lintelman-Nader, Sarah Long, Ethan Marsee, Hannah Murphy, Aaron Philips, Debra Reed and Hannah Roberts.

For more information, contact Gill at 423.869.6265 or email him at joseph.gill@LMUnet.edu.

Lincoln Memorial University is a values-based learning community dedicated to providing educational experiences in the liberal arts and professional studies.  The main campus is located in Harrogate. For more information about the undergraduate and graduate programs available at LMU, contact the Office of Admissions at 423.869.6280 or email at admissions@LMUnet.edu.