MC Theatre Department presents: "Xanadu"

MC Theatre Department presents: "Xanadu"

February 21, 2012
Contact: Chloe Kennedy, News and New Media Writer

The Maryville College Theatre Department will present the award-winning Broadway musical comedy “Xanadu” March 8-11 at the Clayton Center for the Arts.

“Xanadu,” based on the 1980 film starring Olivia Newton-John, follows Kira, a magical and beautiful Greek muse who descends from the heavens of Mount Olympus to Venice Beach, Calif., to help a struggling artist, Sonny, achieve his dream to open the very first roller disco.

Performances are scheduled for 8 p.m. March 8-10 and 2 p.m. on March 11 in the Clayton Center for the Arts’ Haslam Family Flex Theatre.

Tickets are $10 for adults and $7 for seniors (ages 60 and older), theatre alumni, area students (under 18) and college students with identification. MC students, faculty and staff are admitted free. You may purchase tickets online or by calling the Clayton Center Box Office at 865.981.8590.

The production is directed by Dr. Heather McMahon, associate professor of theatre at Maryville College.

McMahon said she selected the play “for selfish reasons.”

“As a kid, I loved the Olivia Newton-John movie, and I used to roller skate around my parents' garage in my leg warmers singing songs like ‘Suddenly,’ ‘Magic’ and ‘Xanadu,’” she said. “Since we try to do a musical every couple of years, I figured we might as well do one that will be nostalgic and fun for me!”

Once she started reading the script, she said she was hooked.

“The fun thing about the stage version is that it keeps all the songs from the movie, but it is really a spoof of the movie,” she said. “What I didn't realize as a kid is that the movie is terrible! I love that this musical stage version makes fun of all the goofy things about the movie, like how ridiculous the story is (a roller skating rink as the mecca of all the arts!) and how awkward the dialogue is.”

Kira will be played by Bailey Stipes of Knoxville, Tenn., who is a junior at the University of Tennessee. Sonny will be played by Jarrett Yoder of Archbold, Ohio, who is a Maryville College freshman.

The cast includes the following Maryville College students: Sarah Bond of Memphis, Tenn., as Calliope; Emily Queen of Maryville, Tenn., as Melpomene; Harley Mathews of Lenoir City, Tenn., as Thalia; Lesli Crowe of Friendsville, Tenn., as Euterpe; Caitlin Campbell of Maryville, Tenn., as Erato; Daniel Chandler of Knoxville, Tenn., who will perform as a member of the chorus; and Cameron Hite of Kingsport, Tenn., who will also perform as a member of the chorus. Rachel Jarnigan of Maryville, Tenn., is the production’s stage manager.

The cast also includes several community members: Bleu Copas of Johnson City, Tenn., will play Terpsichore; Robert Hutchens, the executive director of the Clayton Center for the Arts, will play Danny; Courtney Vastine is the choreographer for the production; and Melony Manness and Terry Silver-Alford are the music directors.

“This musical is just plain fun,” McMahon said. “The songs are nostalgic for many of us, since they are from the original movie, but even for people who don’t know the original versions of these songs, they are catchy, hummable tunes. People will also love these actors. They are doing a great job singing, dancing, acting and skating; their energy is infectious!”

For more information about the MC production, please contact McMahon at 865.981.8161 or

For more information about the play, please visit

Maryville College is ideally situated in Maryville, Tenn., between the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Knoxville, the state's third largest city. Founded in 1819, it is the 12th oldest institution of higher learning in the South and maintains an affiliation with the Presbyterian Church (USA). Known for offering its students a rigorous and highly personal experience that includes an undergraduate research requirement, Maryville College is a nationally ranked institution of higher learning that successfully joins the liberal arts and professional preparation. Total enrollment for the fall 2016 semester is 1,197.