WBU contingent plays leading role in "The Civil War" musical

LUBBOCK – On Saturday, Jan. 12, The Civil War will come to life at the Lubbock Memorial Civic Center theatre, thanks in large part to the talents of Wayland Baptist University professors, students and graduates.

The Civil War, a Tony Award-nominated musical, is a dramatic theatrical presentation that tries to humanize one of the greatest tragedies in American history. The musical examines the Civil War through the lives of soldiers, leaders and families who were affected by it.

Wayland music professor Dr. Debra Flournoy-Buford serves as music director for the performance. In all, 10 Wayland students or graduates and four faculty members are included in the cast and live band. As well as being the musical director, Buford will play the keyboards for the band. Other faculty members in the band include Joe Vandiver on trumpet, Dr. Sandra Mosteller on clarinet, Sharon Mirll on fiddle.

Wayland students in the production include Christion Draper as Frederick Douglass; Kandra Scott as Harriett, assistant to the president; Corey Godfrey as Benjamin, a slave leader; and Artega Wright as Clayton Toler, a slave separated from his wife. Other WBU students participating are Labrina Lang, LaNee Bowser, Braunshea Norris, Tiera Harris, Christopher Kirby, Morgan Switzenberg, and former students Travis Birge and Lauren Willson Snow.

“It has been an incredible experience preparing for this show for our Wayland students,” Buford said. “They have really stepped up in displaying their talents and professionalism. The producers and performance directors have been brought to tears in some of the rehearsals, being so moved by the musical performances of our students.”

Other cast members include: John Gillas, Clay Childress, Latrice Godfrey, Jonathan Fruge, David Stiggers, Skipper Wood, Annie Nichols, Sarenda Godfrey, Josh Aguirre and Dr. Buford’s husband, Chris.

Other musicians involved include Cary Banks and Jerry Brownlow of The Maines Brothers, as well as Justin Lentz, Mike Carraway, Mike Halle and Lonnie Joe Howell.

Written by Frank Wildhorn, Gregory Boyd and Jack Murphy, The Civil War draws on letters, diaries and writing of the Civil War. It also includes first-hand accounts from the writings of Abraham Lincoln, Frederick Douglass and Walt Whitman. The musical is directed by Ronnie Miller and Joshua Aguirre. Tickets ranged from $10-$40 plus fees and can be ordered by www.selectaseatlubbock.com or by calling 806-770-2000.