CULLMAN – The thespians of St. Bernard Prep will perform “Tom Sawyer: The Broadway Musical” this week, Feb. 25-27. Showtimes are 6:30 on Thursday, Feb. 25; 7 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 26; and 2:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 27. The show, which will begin its three-day run this Thursday, will be the first for the school under first-year Director of Fine Arts, Joshua Agnew.
Agnew, who was hired from his seven-year position with the Cullman City Middle and High School, chose this specific show to be the first for a reason.
“It being a musical, it involves as many people as possible and brings musicians, dancers and actors all together,” he said. “Also, the venue is perfect for this.”
The musical will be performed in the Abbey Byre, which is a remodeled barn. “It’s the perfect size and environment for this,” Agnew said.
This musical is the beginning of an aspirational program for Agnew. Having come from a public school system, he has much more control now over the future of the program with St. Bernard, but also has less people to work with, although that may soon change. According to Agnew, enrollment at St. Bernard has increased drastically in the last two years.
Agnew wants to grow the whole fine arts program alongside the enrollment of the students.
“I’m establishing a concert band, and I want to introduce woodwinds and eventually strings,” he said. “But strings will be far down the road. (Cullman) High School doesn’t even have strings.”
The music for the performance of Tom Sawyer is pre-recorded, however.
“I wanted there to be a live ensemble for the music, but we just didn’t have the time,” Agnew said.
As for as how the show was cast, Agnew said those auditioning did not go for specific parts, but instead were all given the same audition packet.
“They had to prepare a 30-second song of their choosing. I didn’t want to change how they did everything before I got here, but I also had to get to know the kids,” he said. “These kids are willing to do whatever I ask to make the show great.”
The tickets for the show will be sold at the door, or you can contact the director himself at email@example.com. Tickets to the event are $5 for students and $10 for adults.
“Just come on out and see us! The venue holds about 130 seats, but it’s not fixed-seating, so we can arrange it to fit everyone,” Agnew said.
St. Bernard Prep is located at 600 St. Bernard Drive SE in Cullman.
View the event page on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/events/1742578765973829/.