HARROGATE, Tenn. — Dinner Theater returns to Lincoln Memorial University (LMU) Nov. 14-16 with a production of Del Shores’ Daddy’s Dyin’…who’s got the will? Produced and designed by Assistant Professor of Theater Stephen E. Haynes and directed by James Harshbarger, the production marks the debut of the new student theater company, LMU Players.
Haynes joined the University over the summer and has taken the theater programming in a more student centered direction. In fact, the fall production includes an all-student cast. In addition to the Dinner Theater showings, which include a buffet dinner at Angelo’s in the Gap, two standalone performances will also take place on Nov. 21 and 22.
Set in a small town in Texas, Daddy’s Dyin’ centers around a family gathered awaiting the imminent death of their patriarch, who has recently suffered a disabling stroke. The comedy doesn’t dwell on the impending demise of the father, but rather the rebirth of the spirit of his family as a unit.
A dinner buffet will be served from 6-7 p.m. at Angelo’s in the Gap and the curtain goes up at 7:30 p.m. for the dinner theater performances. Tickets to the Nov. 14-16 performances are $25. Tickets to the November 21 and 22 performances are $10. Reservations can be made by calling Katie Pendley at 423-869-6230. Standalone performances will begin at 7:30 p.m.
Haynes joined the faculty of the Paul V. Hamilton School of Arts and Humanities at LMU following similar teaching appointments at Southwestern Oklahoma State University and Lock Haven University. He holds a Master of Fine Arts in theater design and technology from Louisiana State University (LSU) and a Bachelor of Science in theater arts from Austin Peay State University. He has experience in scenic design, lighting, directing, costume design and has served as playwright.
LMU’s Appalachian Reading Series will feature poet Earl S. Braggs Nov. 15, at 7 p.m. Braggs will also present a free poetry writing workshop on Saturday, Nov.16, from 9-11 a.m.
Braggs is a native of Wilmington, N.C. He earned the Master of Fine Arts degree from Vermont College of Norwich University. Currently, he is the Battle/UC Foundation Professor of English at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, where he teaches creative writing, poetry, African American literature and Russian literature. His teaching awards include the UTNAA Outstanding Teacher Award and two Student Government Association Outstanding Professor awards.
Braggs is the prolific author of seven collections of poetry, including Hat Dancer Blue, winner of the Anhinga Poetry Prize, and In Which Language Do I Keep Silent: New and Selected. Younger Than Neil is his most recent collection of poetry. Syntactical Arrangements of a Twisted Wind is forthcoming from Anhinga Press. Oliver’s Breakfast in America is forthcoming from Eureka Press. Other prizes include The Jack Kerouac International Literary Prize for a chapter in his yet-to-be published novel, Looking for Jack Kerouac.
“Earl S. Braggs is a transplant from the Wilmington area of North Carolina, but he has been in Chattanooga more than long enough to make that place his own,” said LMU Writer-in-Residence Darnell Arnoult. “Braggs has a keen understanding that place is its own kind of poetry, and he sees an opportunity for a poem in every direction. No matter what the subject-war, baseball, or family—Braggs brings both music and tenderness to his work. I am so excited that he is here to share with our community his poetry and his gift as a writing teacher.”
Braggs will read at 7 p.m. Nov. 15, in the Wedding Chapel in Cumberland Gap, Tenn. A selection of his books will be available for purchase and signing. Admission is free and open to the public.
The community poetry workshop will take place from 9-11 a.m. Nov. 16, in room 105 of the LMU-DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine. For more information or to reserve a spot in the workshop, contact Darnell Arnoult at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 423-869-7074.
The Appalachian Reading Series and associated writing workshops are supported in part through a grant from the Tennessee Arts Commission.