The Williams Baptist University theatre program will present the play “Glorious” Nov. 1-2 as part of the 2019 WBU Homecoming celebration.
“I was in love with this play from the first reading. It has a great energy and wonderful message,” said Melinda Williams, assistant professor of communication arts and director of the production.
The play is based on the true story of Florence Foster Jenkins, an enthusiastic soprano who was described as the worst singer in the world, but paid little attention to her critics. In 1940s New York, the singer hosted charity recitals and performed to a standing-room-only crowd at Carnegie Hall.
“I saw a movie about the singer starring Meryl Streep and Huge Grant and was extremely intrigued by the character of Jenkins,” Williams said. “One of my favorite lines in the play is Jenkins stating that many people tell her she can’t sing, but no one will ever say she didn’t sing.”
The part of Jenkins will be portrayed by WBU senior Maggie Morgan of Smithville, Ark. Morgan has appeared in several WBU productions, but this time she will be playing the lead character.
“Playing Florence has been magical. She’s so happy and energetic. That just makes me feel ready to take on anything,” Morgan said. Morgan is a liberal arts major with emphasis in English and communications.
Also appearing in the production are: Luke Windham of Lee’s Summit, Mo., as Jenkins’ long-time boyfriend; Jenni Lochridge of Taiwan as Jenkins’ pianist; Bethany Jaques of Jacksonville, Ark., as Jenkins’ maid; and MeKency Shepherd of Little Rock, Ark., as one of Jenkins’ critics.
“We have such strong actors, and I’m proud to get to do my final fall play at Williams with these amazing people,” Morgan said.
The production will be Friday and Saturday, Nov. 1-2, at 7 p.m. in WBU’s Startup Chapel. Admission is $5 for general public and $3 for students and senior citizens.