UPDATED SHOW TIMES: Alumnus returns to direct fall mainstage show
When Travis Spangenburg (‘13) stepped on the Jenkins Hall Mainstage to direct theater students on Georgia Southern University’s Armstrong Campus, he was immediately taken back to his days as a student performer.
“It was where I met some of my closest friends and began to grow my own confidence as a performer,” he said. “It’s my chosen lifelong obsession. This space started it all and it’s so, so wonderful to be back.”
As an alumnus of the theater program, he has performed with the likes of the Savannah Shakes, Odd Lot Improv and the Collective Face Theatre Ensemble.
Now, he has returned to the Armstrong Campus to direct students on the stages he trained on himself.
He stepped into a role on the Jenkins Mainstage for the first time in spring of 2011. It was his first Shakespeare show and his first proper stage show ever.
Ethan Goble, a theater sophomore, said Spangenburg has been able to connect with the students because of his understanding of their experiences as performing artist students.
“He’s also showing us what we’re able to achieve if we’re able to continue putting in the work and if we’re diligent about it,” Goble said. “Hopefully we can get to that level and potentially be able to give back to the school in the same ways. It’s really great and it’s something to aspire to.”
Spangenburg is well seasoned in Shakespeare, and has an eclectic directing resume. His directing credits include “Titus Andronicus” (2017) and “Macbeth” (2019) with Savannah Shakes, and “Man of La Mancha” (2020) with Asbury Memorial Theatre Company.
When it came time to select a piece to produce for Georgia Southern, he turned to a genre he said he always wanted to do: Murder Mystery.
“The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940” is a play that pokes fun at the more ridiculous aspects of “show biz” and the corny thrillers of Hollywood’s heyday. The show will run Oct. 5 through Oct. 8 at 7:30 p.m. and Oct. 9 at 3:00 p.m. in Jenkins Hall Mainstage Theatre on the Armstrong Campus.
“Musical Comedy Murders of 1940” follows the creative team responsible for a recent Broadway flop in which three chorus girls were murdered by the “Stage Door Slasher.” The team assembles an audition for their new show at a wealthy estate. The house is replete with sliding panels and secret passageways, all of which figure diabolically in the comical mayhem that follows when the infamous “Slasher” makes his reappearance and strikes again. As the team prepares for its performance, and a blizzard cuts off any possible retreat, bodies start to drop in plain sight, knives spring out of nowhere, masked figures drag their victims behind swiveling bookcases, and accusing fingers point in all directions.
Tickets are $12 with discounts available for military, seniors and students. Georgia Southern students, faculty and staff can attend for free with an Eagle ID. Tickets can be purchased by calling (912) 344-2801, visiting georgiasouthern.edu/armstrongtickets or by going to the Fine Arts Box Office, located in Fine Arts Hall, which is open weekdays, noon-3 p.m.
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