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SHSU Update for Week of Feb. 13

Sam Houston Celebrations Planned

Two big events in the life of General Sam Houston were Texas Independence Day on March 2, which also happened to be his birthday, and March 6, the day he was elected to the United States Senate.

The Sam Houston Memorial Museum on the Sam Houston State University campus is hosting a Senator's Ball on Feb. 26, 2000, to celebrate Houston's election to the office of United States Senator on March 6, 1846.

Judi Baldwin, who is coordinating the Ball, said similar events have been held in recent years and have become popular with Sam Houston history buffs.

"It gives us a chance to dress in period costume, if you have such, or semi-formal attire if you don't, and enjoy the food and dance of that period," said Baldwin. "If dancing is not to your taste, you can just sit back and listen to the music of the Sweet Song String Band."

The Sweet Song String Band has been a favorite of General Sam Houston Folk Festival audiences since their appearance at what was then the East Texas Folk Festival. They will be joined by Gene and Marynell Young and possibly other members of the Young Family Band.

Tickets are $40 per couple, or $30 per couple for friends of the museum and current volunteers. For information and reservations call 409-294-4895.

Texas Independence Day, Texas Flag Day, Walker County Pioneer Day and General Sam Houston's Birthday will be observed March 2 with events which include a reception, graveside ceremony, luncheon on campus, and events at the Big Sam statue.

The day's activities begin with a reception at the Gibbs-Powell Home Museum, 1228 11th St., from 9:30 - 10:30.

Larry Oaks, executive director of the Texas Historical Commission, will speak at the Oakwood Cemetery ceremony at 11 a.m. The luncheon at the Walker Education Center is scheduled from 12:30 to 1:30, and the statue events at 2 p. m.

Luncheon reservations should be made by Feb. 25. Call 409-294-1832. The March 2 events are co-sponsored by the Walker County Historical Commission, Sam Houston Memorial Museum, and Sam Houston Statue and Visitors Center.

'The Last Night of Ballyhoo'

It is December, 1939, in Atlanta. "Gone With the Wind" is opening; Hitler is invading his neighbors; and the last celebration of the most important social event of the year, Ballyhoo, forces a Jewish family to explore its heritage in a poignant Alfred Uhry comedy to be performed at Sam Houston State University Feb. 16-19.

The SHSU Department of Theatre and Dance production of "The Last Night of Ballyhoo" is scheduled for 8 p.m. each evening in the Mainstage Theatre with a 2 p.m. matinee on Saturday (Feb. 19). While tension is mounting in Europe, spirits in Atlanta are high. With the movie premiere, the town is buzzing with glamour and excitement.

The Freitag family, seemingly unmindful of Hitler's invasion of Poland, is focused on Ballyhoo, the formal dance that is the highlight of Atlanta's Jewish social season.

When Adolph Freitag (Jayson Rivera) introduces his new assistant, Joe Farkas (Ben Cook), to his Southern socialite family, his sister Beulah (April Garton) takes note of Joe's Eastern European Jewish heritage, labeling him as the "other kind."

Beulah hopes that her daughter Lala (Sofia Gomez), who considers herself no less than the next Scarlet O'Hara, will be the belle of ballyhoo with an intrepid young aristocrat from one of the finest families in the South on her arm.

However, Sunny (Maggie Wilhite), Adolph's levelheaded niece, is swept away by Joe's charm and impulsiveness. Sunny and Joe struggle with their deeply rooted love for each other and their sharply contrasting backgrounds. As Ballyhoo approaches, as the plot twists, the Freitags explore their values and discover the importance of their heritage with plenty of romance and laughter.

The Los Angeles Times called "The Last Night of Ballyhoo" "luminous and powerful." The New York Post had a similar view--"It is a delightful comedy freighted with an uncomfortable message."

The play was commissioned by the Alliance Theatre to be performed at the 1996 Summer Olympics. Uhry also wrote the Pulitzer Prize winning "Driving Miss Daisy."

"The Last Night of Ballyhoo" is directed by theatre faculty member Penelope Hasekoester. Cast members include freshman theatre majors Gomez and Erin Forester, senior musical theatre majors Garton and Ben Cole, sophomore theatre major Rivera, junior musical theatre major Wilhite, and senior theatre major Bill Giffen.

Senior theatre major Kassity Fojt stage-manages the show. Faculty member Jerry hooker designed the set, with lighting by senior musical theatre major Patrick Pearson. Costumes were designed by senior musical theatre major Heather Hodnett.

Tickets are $10 or $8 for SHSU students and senior citizens. For reservations call the University Theatre Center Box Office at 409-294-1339.

Art, Concerts, One-Woman Play

Additional fine arts events scheduled this week include an art exhibition, tuba and horn recitals, a Jazz Ensemble concert, and a one-woman play honoring Black History Month.

Sculpture and paintings by Bradley R. Smith, Randall T. Reid and Nicholas Wood are on display through Feb. 25 in the Gaddis Geeslin Gallery.

The gallery is located in Building F of the Art Complex, at 1028 21st Street. Hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays. Admission is free.

Recitals include guest artist Pat Sheridan on tuba, at 7:30 p.m. Monday in the Recital Hall, and guest artist David Krehbiel of the San Francisco Symphony on the horn at 7:30 p.m. Saturday (Feb. 19) in the Recital Hall. Admission to Krehbiel's performance is $10 general/$8 for senior citizens.

The Jazz Ensemble will also perform Thursday (Feb. 17) in the Beto Criminal Justice Center Killinger Auditorium. Admission to the Jazz Ensemble concert is free to SHSU faculty, staff, and students and Friends of Music, and $5 for general admission. Sheridan's performance is free.

"Pretty Fire," Cheray Martin's one-woman show honoring Black History Month, presents stories of the actress Charlene Woodard. Performances are at 8 p.m. in the University Theatre Center Showcase Theatre. Admission is $10 general/$8 SHSU students, students and seniors.

Genetic Modification to be Discussed

A Monsanto Corp. scientist will speak at 10 a.m. Wednesday (Feb. 16) in the Lowman Student Center Ballroom on the subject of genetically modified organisms and genetic engineering.

The presentation by John Bradley is being sponsored by the Department of Agricultural Sciences.

"The use of genetically modified organisms has become very controversial in the United States over the past six months or so, fueled by the concerns of the Europeans over genetically modified organisms in the food supply," said Bobby Lane, who chairs the department.

"I expect Dr. Bradley to address some of these concerns and how Monsanto plans to deal with them."

The lecture is open to all interested faculty, students and community members. There is no admission fee.

Albee Event to Include Book-Signing

Edward Albee fans will have the opportunity to not only hear the three-time Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright speak Feb. 22, but to meet him and obtain his signature.

Albee is appearing as this spring's presentation in the Sam Houston State University Distinguished Lecturer Series. His presentation, entitled "The Playwright vs. The Theatre," is scheduled for 8 p.m. in the Beto Criminal Justice Center Killinger Auditorium.

Albee will also be available for a reception and book-signing in the Criminal Justice Center foyer area beginning about 7:15 p.m.

Jesse Nelson, manager of the University Bookstore in the Lowman Student Center, said that copies of all of Albee's plays, including the renowned "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf," and a new Albee biography, "A Singular Journey," will be available at the bookstore prior to Feb. 22 and also at the event.

Small Business Development Center Classes

The Small Business Development Center at Sam Houston State University has scheduled three training sessions this week.

Working With Quickbooks Pro will be presented at the center headquarters at 2424 Sam Houston Ave. from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday (Feb. 15). The fee is $50.

Also Tuesday, at the Huntsville-Walker County Chamber of Commerce, Projecting A Positive Business Image will be presented from 6-9 p.m. Its fee is $15.

On Thursday, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Purchasing a Personal Computer will be presented at the center. Its fee is $15.

For reservations, call 409-294-3737.

Date Set for Homecoming 2000

Saturday October 28 has been selected as the date for Sam Houston State University's 2000 homecoming celebration.

"It's never too early to start planning for a Sam Houston State University homecoming," said Theresa Bledsoe, director of alumni relations. "We expect a great week of fun events for students and an exciting weekend of reminiscences for our alumni."

The Saturday football game opponent will be the McNeese State Cowboys, who this year ranked as one of the top 1-AA football teams in the nation.

Fashions Then and Now

University Women will host a program on "Fashions Then and Now" on Thursday (Feb. 17.)

The 20th Century Costume Collection and Spring 2000 Preview will be presented in Rooms 301-302 of Academic Building II from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Refreshments will be served after the program.

- END -

SHSU Media Contact: Frank Krystyniak
Feb. 13, 2000
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