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CCU Theater launches Faybulous premiere

August 4, 2000

With its first production of the 2000-2001 season, Coastal Carolina University Theater presents two major premieres simultaneously.

The show is Faybulous, a "sing play" for children based on Aesop's Fables. Co-written by Coastal music professor David Bankston and Tony Makarome, a composer and graduate of the Berklee College of Music in Boston, Faybulous is the first production of Coastal Carolina University's newly established outreach actors' group, the Endless Chant Theatre Company. The premiere engagement of Faybulous and the Endless Chant Theater Company is scheduled for Thursday, Aug. 17 and Friday, Aug. 18 at 7:30 p.m. and on Saturday, Aug. 19 at 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. All performances are in Wheelwright Auditorium. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students under the age of 18. For the Saturday performances, one parent will be admitted free when accompanied by two children.

Following the Wheelwright performances, members of the Endless Chant company, featuring former and current Coastal theater students and faculty members, will take Faybulous on tour around the state and region.

For Faybulous, Bankston and Makarome adapted three of Aesop's fables, each one a mini-morality tale in a distinctive American musical mode: "The Tortoise and the Hare" is transformed into "Daddy Cool Turtle and Jacky Rabbit" with a hip jazz-gospel style; in "The Hen that Laid the Golden Egg," Granny grapples with would-be thieves Wayne and Dewayne, mixing tango, blues and country music; and "The Poor Woodsman and the Magical Rivermaid" is done in musical theater style.

"This show is a labor of love for me," says composer Bankston. "It was very rewarding to collaborate with Tony. Both he and I have very diverse musical backgrounds, which accounts for the variety of styles in Faybulous. Aesop's fables are timeless - they're fun and instructive for children and adults alike."

The premiere production of Faybulous is a collaboration involving many of the area's - and Coastal's - most talented professional musicians and performers. Bankston, an accomplished tenor who has sung with many leading American opera companies, will sing the role of the narrator. Philip Powell, chair of Coastal's Department of Music, is the musical director; Sandi Shackelford, chair of Coastal's Department of Theater, is the stage director; Coastal's artist-in-residence, conductor Charles Evans joins Powell and Makarome in the instrumental ensemble.

The cast includes Coastal musical theater major Russell Johnson, Coastal graduate Kristi Brown Johnson and other students and alumni. The moveable set was designed by Christian Thee, a well-known trompe l'oeil artist based in Columbia, S.C. The sets were painted by Tymberley Wittrig, assistant professor of scenic and lighting design at Coastal.

For ticket information, contact the Wheelwright Box Office at 349- 2502.