Senior theater major Ashlee Campbell will be among some 500 student artists slated to perform at The University of Southern Mississippi’s 2009 Arts Gala, an event designed to showcase student talent while raising funds to support the university’s arts programs.
Set for Sept. 10 at 7 p.m. at the Lake Terrace Convention Center, the gala will showcase student artists from the Department of Art and Design, Theatre and Dance and the School of Music. Tickets are $100 for dinner, dancing and the show. A portion of the proceeds from the gala are tax-deductible and benefit the arts at Southern Miss.
“It’s such an important event for us, because we get to interact with the community,” said Campbell, who opens the show as one of the Marmalade Ladies. “Not only do we benefit from it, but the community benefits too because they get to see the work they’re supporting,” she said.
Mike Lopinto, director and designer of the gala, chose the Moulin Rouge theme because “in its heyday, the Moulin Rouge was a place where leading artists and high-society citizens of Paris gathered.”
Students have rehearsed all summer to recreate the style, glamour and spirit of 19th century Paris to bring the “wow” factor to the event, he said. “It’s fitting that a performance by our students and benefitting our students is set in the famed Moulin Rouge nightclub. Though set in the 19th century, it’s a really up-to-date version.”
Southern Miss is one of 24 institutions to be nationally accredited in all four disciplines – art, music, theatre and dance.
“This is a great way to treat yourself to a fantastic night out and support a great cause at the same time,” said Denise von Herrmann, dean of the College of Arts and Letters. “This year, guests get to go inside a theatrical and musical product as the cast sings, dances and interacts with them.”
Paul Williams, a junior music education major from Mobile, Ala., plays the role of The Argentine at the show’s climax. “I hope people will come out, dance, have fun, support the arts and see the students do their thing,” said Williams.
For more information about the 2009 Moulin Rouge Arts Gala, visit http://www.usm.edu/arts
Southern Miss staffer David Stellhorn works on the custom-built windmill for the Southern Miss 2009 Arts Gala (Southern Miss photo by Tearanny Street)
About The University of Southern Mississippi
The University of Southern Mississippi, founded in 1910, is a comprehensive doctoral and research-extensive university fulfilling its mission of being a leading university in engaging and empowering individuals to transform lives and communities. In a tradition of leadership for student development, Southern Miss is educating a 21st century work force providing intellectual capital, cultural enrichment and innovation to Mississippi and the world. Southern Miss is located in Hattiesburg, Miss., with an additional campus and teaching and research sites on the Mississippi Gulf Coast; further information is found at www.usm.edu.