Cumberland University


Theatre to Present Deadwood Dick


Cumberland University’s School of Music and the Arts will bring a taste of Wild West melodrama to audiences on February 23-26 with its 2012 Spring Production “Deadwood Dick, or the Game of Gold!”


Directed by Professor of Theater and Speech Dr. Larry Menefee, the “rootin’ tootin’ melodrama” of the Old West will run in the University’s Heydel Fine Arts Center, featuring live music and a cast of nearly 20 students from Cumberland’s Phoenix Players.

Evening performances on February 24 and 25 will also feature a unique opportunity for patrons to take in a “Dinner and a Show” in conjunction with Castle Heights Chophouse.

Menefee believes attendees will enjoy the straightforward charm of the melodrama, which is unique in its western setting.

“I know audiences will get a great deal of enjoyment from ‘Deadwood Dick,’” said Menefee, who is Director of Theatre at Cumberland. “The show has an Old West setting different than many melodramas, and the entire play takes place in a saloon.”

Set in the “gay 1890s,” the play has a plot ripped straight from the pages of Wild West dime novels, complete with damsels in distress, hidden gold mines, and riotous music. The action-packed story follows Ned Harris (alias Deadwood Dick) and Wild Bill Hickok as they face off against the evil Blackman Redburn and try to protect the lovely but imperiled sisters Lily Blossom and Rose.

The play’s heroes, villains, and ne’er-do-wells will be brought to life by a large cast from Cumberland’s Phoenix Players, including Nicholas Williams as Ned Harris, Deron Martel as Wild Bill Hickok, and Cory Carlton as Blackman Redburn.

Set in Calamity Jane’s Man Trap Saloon, the production will feature live piano music and a unique two-tiered set design.

“This is a new and original set that is totally different from what we’ve done previously,” said Menefee. “The play has one central setting, and our design has a two-story set with stairs leading to the second level.”

Menefee hopes that the old-fashioned melodrama will prove to be as enjoyable to audiences as it has already been to the Phoenix Players.

“Everyone has been really excited about ‘Deadwood Dick,’” said Menefee. “All involved have been having a tremendous amount of fun being involved in the show.”

“Deadwood Dick, or the Game of Gold!” will run at Cumberland University’s Heydel Fine Arts Center. Show times are scheduled for 7:30 p.m. on February 23-25 and for a matinee showing at 2:30 p.m. on February 26. Tickets are $7 for adults and $5 for seniors and children 12 and under. Admission is free with a valid Cumberland University ID.

On February 24 and 25, Castle Heights Chophouse will offer a “Dinner and a Show” deal that includes a meal, drink, and complimentary ticket to “Deadwood Dick” for $20. Dinner will begin serving at 5:30 p.m. with the show beginning at 7:30 p.m.; driving directions will be available at the restaurant.

For more information about the production, contact the Heydel Fine Arts Center Box Office at (615) 547-1380. For information and reservations for the “Dinner and a Show” deal, call the Castle Heights Chophouse at (615) 449-9800.