Theatre @ UAFS will perform Warren Leight’s Tony Award–winning play “Side Man” at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 26-28; Sept. 30 and Oct. 1 in the Breedlove Auditorium on the University of Arkansas – Fort Smith campus as part of the Season of Entertainment 39.


Tickets for the jazz musical are $6 for the general public and free to UAFS faculty, staff and students. To acquire tickets contact the UAFS Box Office at 479-788-7300 or go to Man


“Side Man” is the story of Clifford, who is forced into adulthood by his father Gene, a jazz trumpet player, and his alcoholic mother Terry. As rock ‘n roll begins to grow in popularity, threatening Gene’s career, Clifford begs his father to find a more stable job, resulting in Gene choosing music over his son.


“I had a chance to see a production [of ‘Side Man’] about 10 years ago at a festival and thought it was amazing then,” said Bob Stevenson, director of Theatre @ UAFS. Stevenson noted “It’s the story of how music can be all consuming and how the world of reality can sometimes tear all that beauty apart and tear the artist apart at the same time. It’s about parents and children trying as hard as they can to connect with each other and not always succeeding. And it’s about how life isn’t always clean and tidy, but it’s always leading us to somewhere we need to be.”


The Theatre @ UAFS production of “Side Man” is directed by Andrew Snyder, visiting instructor of theater from Texarkana, Texas. He is an alumnus of the UAFS acting/directing program and received a Master of Fine Arts in acting from Northern Illinois University. He has also studied in Russia with the Moscow Art Theatre School’s summer intensive program. “Side Man” will be his second show directing as a theatre profession.


“I’ve been a musician for most of my life as well,” said Snyder, “so the musicality of the show really resonated with me, as did Leight’s writing style, which is very cinematic in nature.  It’s a tough show from page to stage, so I really enjoyed the challenge of making it come to life.”


“I want our audience to remember the truth of this story,” said Assistant Director Aubry Nelson of Sycamore, Illinois. “Sometimes happy endings aren’t real; sometimes it never turns out the way we want it to be; and instead of getting stuck in what the glory days were, learning to take a step back so we can look to the future. This story is about Clifford’s incredibly difficult decision to either live his life or live his parents’ lives, and that internal struggle is something I feel resonates within all of us.”


Students and faculty members performing in the show are:




Clifford - Devin Phongsavanh, Woonsocket, Rhode Island 

Terry - Margie Barragan, Fort Smith

Gene - Malcum Nobles, Pea Ridge

Patsy - Kerri Douberly, Hot Springs

Al - Kevin Bailey, Irvine, California

Ziggy - Cole Sanders, Charleston

Jonesy - Asante Pulliam, Greenwood

Shadows - Liz Hutcherson, Fort Smith

Laura Young, Greenwood

Jackie Vasquez, Guadalajara, Mexico

Monesha Bass, Memphis

Kaitlyn Lichti, Lavaca 



Director - Andrew Snyder, Texarkana, Texas

Assistant Director - Aubry Nelson, Sycamore, Illinois

Stage Manager - Sam Benton, Prairie Grove

Light Designer - Madison Smith, Fort Smith

Sound Designer - Tristen Benton, Bentonville

Props Designer - Tori Storm Buie, Van Buren

Scenic Designers - Pablo Guerra-Monje, Madrid

Steven Copeland, Fort Smith

Publicity/Marketing - Logan Parks, Soldotna, Alaska 

Hair and Makeup - Paige Lokey, Pocola, Oklahoma 


The performance is part of the Season of Entertainment 39, a yearlong lineup of entertainment sponsored by UAFS and featuring a variety of plays, musicals and symphonic performances.


For more information on the play, contact Stevenson at 479-788-7303 or

Rachel Putman
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Date Posted: 
Thursday, September 26, 2019
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