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Hot News

BROADWAY.COM NASHVILLE - Britt Byrd Stars in Keeton Theatre's MISS FIRECRACKER - March 30
by Jeffrey Ellis

Britt Byrd Stars in Keeton Theatre's MISS FIRECRACKER. Britt Byrd takes on the challenging role of Carnelle Scott in The Larry Keeton Theatre's upcoming production of Beth Henley's The Miss Firecracker Contest, running at the Donelson theater April 14-30 - the first presentation of a non-musical at The Keeton in quite some time, according to producer Jamie London.

BroadwayWorld.com's Nashville senior contributing editor Jeffrey Ellis - who in 2015 directed Picnic for Circle Players and The Last 5 Years for VWA Theatricals - helms the production of Henley's classic Southern Gothic script that is filled with laughter and pathos in what the director describes as "a uniquely Southern take on modern manners and morals."

"Beth Henley writes with such instinct that she honors her dysfunctional characters in every phrase, every scene," Ellis maintains. "And while The Miss Firecracker Contest is wonderfully funny in the way that all Southern families are funny and off-kilter (trust me, I know from personal experience), but there is never any doubt that she respects the people she's created for this fictional take on beauty contests and small-town gossip and intrigue."

Byrd, who can currently be seen in Music City Theatre Company's production of 4,000 Miles through April 9, is joined in Ellis' cast by Katherine Morgan (Morticia in Circle Players' The Addams Family and co-host of this year's Midwinter's First Night) as Carnelle's cousin, Elain Rutledge, a Natchez socialite who won the Miss Firecracker title at the age of 17; Michael Adcock (who just completed a run as Huey in Arts Center of Cannon County's Memphis the Musical) as Elain's brother, the ne'er-do-well Delmount Williams, who "has a very checkered past"; and Amber Boyer, a longtime Keeton Theatre favorite, as Popeye Jackson, the delightfully daft seamstress who helps sew up Carnelle's beauty pageant dreams while nursing a crush on Delmount.

Michael Adcock (Delmount Williams) Lucky enough to be able to do this and to have beautiful people that give him the chance. Recent theatrical credits include: Memphis the Musical, Small Engine Repair, Bonnie and Clyde, Seascape with Sharks and Dancer, Scarecrows Will Never See the Sunset and Fifth of July. Beyond the theatrical world, Michael has been featured in Zanies' Best of Nashville Stand-up Comedy showcase and in many local film productions. Thanks go to: The cast, the director, the team, and most importantly, the audience.

Amber Boyer (Popeye) Amber is TICKLED PINK to be returning to the Keeton Theatre stage in this production with all of these wonderful firecrackers! She was most recently seen on the TSU stage as the eldest nun, Sister Mary Theresa, in Circle Players' production of Sister Act, the Musical. She was last seen on the Larry Keeton Theatre stage in their productions of The Music Man, Fiddler on the Roof, and Bye, Bye Birdie as Mama Peterson. With a B.A. in Theatre Performance from Converse College in 2004, Amber has been involved both on stage and backstage since the age of 7. A few of her favorite credits include: Janet in USCS'sThe Rocky Horror Show, Jim Hawkins in Circle's Treasure Island, Kate Murphy in Circle's Titanic, the Musical, and Peter Pan in TLC's Peter Pan. Amber would like to thank her wonderful family and friends for their continuous love and support. She hopes you enjoy the show!

Britt Byrd (Carnelle Scott) is pleased to return for her third production on the Keeton stage, after last appearing in Legally Blonde, The Musical and Hairspray. Local: "4,000 Miles" (Music City Theatre Company); Emilie, La Marquise du Chatelet Defends Her Life Tonight (Tennessee Women's Theatre Project); Blackbird, Hearts Like Fists, She Kills Monsters (Actors Bridge Ensemble); Arcadia, Twilight of The Gods (Blackbird Theatre). Regional: Bonnie & Clyde, The Musical (Murfreesboro Center for the Arts); Noises Off, The Rocky Horror Show (Boiler Room Theatre); Legally Blonde, The Musical (The Franklin (Theatre).Performer/Producer: Matt & Ben, ThrowbackThursday LIVE! (The 2015 Sideshow Fringe Festival at Actors Bridge Ensemble). Assistant Director: The Producers (Boiler Room Theatre). Britt is also an active on-camera talent and recently completed work on CMT's Still The King. Britt extends her warmest regards to her family and dedicates this performance to the loving memory of her grandmother, Dot Byrd. She is represented by DS Entertainment.

Kurt Jarvis (Mac Sam) made his Nashville area debut last year when he played Kippy in ACT 1's production of Take Me Out. Since then he has been busy portraying Sheriff Gilbeau in August: Osage County and directing Sex Lives of Superheroes, both with ACT 1. He played Senator Glenn Cooper in Encore Theater's presentation of Rumors by Neil Simon. He is very thrilled to be part of a true Southern classic and performing for the first time at The Larry Keeton Theater.

Katherine Morgan (Elain Rutledge) is delighted to be making her debut at the Larry Keeton theater. She has been lucky enough to work with Jeffrey Ellis and Britt Byrd before inMidwinter's First Night at Chaffin's Barn as well as play the role of Morticia in The Addams Family with Circle Players. She recently moved to the Nashville area from Los Angeles, where she voiced the national commercial campaigns for companies such as McDonald's, Sprite, Lincoln SUVs, Hewlett Packard and Nationwide Insurance. She was also cast in independent films such as The Sky is Falling and Slaves of Hollywood. Katherine majored in Musical Theater at Kansas State University and is currently studying with Nashville Acting Studio. She is a member of SAG/AFTRA.

Rebekah Stegner (Tessy Mahoney) is so excited to be on the Keeton stage for the first time. She is currently a sophomore at Lipscomb University double majoring in English and Acting. Credits include Legally Blonde (Paulette), Circle Players' Picnic (Christine), and The Crucible (Mercy Lewis) with Lipscomb and Blackbird Theater. She wants to thank Jeffrey for the amazing opportunities as well as the incredible cast and her family and friends for supporting and encouraging her passions.

Memory Strong (assistant director) is intelligent, witty and indispensible as the Assistant Director for The Miss Firecracker Contest. She is polished and refined, like a lovely glass of wine, but also gritty and crass like cheap whisky. She is the executive director of ACT 1. Her last project was as the director for The Flu Season at ACT 1, and she was last on stage as Dr. Emma Brookner in The Normal Heart with Music City Theater Company. She will regale audiences with her next performance as Mona in ACT 1's final show of the season, Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean. "I am honored to be working with such a fine cast and crew - and to be back at the Keeton Theater again, after quite some time! Y'all are in for a treat!"

Corey Shadd (properties co-designer), a Shreveport, LA native, has been in the Nashville Theater scene for the past three years. Corey has over 15 years experience in theater ranging from singing, acting, costume design and more. Before moving to Nashville, Corey was involved with Stage Center, a local performing company in Shreveport, LA. He played various roles throughout his tenure there including, Rod in Avenue Q, Joe in 9 to 5, various ensemble roles in Evita and more. In Nashville, Corey has played the role of Ted in Bonnie and Clyde and Tony in West Side Story, both at the Center for the Arts in Murfreesboro. Most recently, Corey was the costume designer for ACT 1's August: Osage County. Corey is a graduate of Centenary College of Louisiana where he studied business administration and music and was in the Centenary Choir, Camerata and Chorale. He is also a graduate of Grand Canyon University, where he received a Masters in Business Administration.

Mary L. Hankins is production stage manager. Jamie London and K. Larry Keeton (a 2015 First Night Honoree) will produce The Miss Firecracker Contest, with scenic design by Jim Manning, costume design by Denise Robertson and Jessica Robertson and lighting design by Tony Nappo. Corey Shadd is properties co-designer and Heather Vaughn Alexander is on the production's stage crew.

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Jeffrey Ellis Jeffrey Ellis is a Nashville-based writer, editor and critic, who's been covering the performing arts in Tennessee for more than 25 years. He is the (read more...)

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"Playing on Air," a public radio show and podcast you might find fun. It features quality recordings of great contemporary short plays with stellar casts. Each Playing on Air hour-long broadcast features two or three shorts, and their podcasts feature a single play plus ensuing conversation. Claudia Catania, their founding artistic director, talks about the play with its playwright, and often director and cast.

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