woman with paper from the color purpleA week from today the University of Arkansas – Fort Smith Season of Entertainment will present the 2016 Tony Award winning Broadway production, The Color Purple to river valley fans, UAFS students and a special guest audience of area high school students. 


A part of the UAFS Season of Entertainment 39, the national-touring performance will take stage at 7:30 p.m., Monday, Nov. 11, at the ArcBest Performing Arts Center at 55 S. Seventh Street in Fort Smith. Joining the crowds of community members and university students will be nearly 100 students from Elkins High School, Northside High School, Greenwood High School and Van Buren High School, hosted for the evening by the UAFS Office of P-20 Collaboration.


Based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel and Academy Award-nominated feature film, The Color Purple features a Grammy-winning score of jazz, gospel, ragtime and blues, and has wowed audiences across the country. The New York Times called it “A miracle on Broadway,” and “a glory to behold.” 


“As a study of rhetoric, the students who will be attending the performance read and analyze some of the most powerful pieces in literature,” said Pamela Harrison, an A.P. English teacher at Elkins High School. “The Color Purple by Alice Walker is offered as options for both the summer reading assignment and in book clubs. We study not only the impact of the novel itself, but also the beauty and strength of Walker’s style.”


 “When we bring these high-quality Broadway acts to Fort Smith, we have the opportunity to show our region how much we value the arts, and all that UAFS has to offer,” said Stacey Jones, UAFS associate vice chancellor for campus and community events.“We invite students from area schools to select performances every year, but the chance to see a Broadway performance without leaving the river valley is really unique. 


Thanks to partnerships between the Season of Entertainment and the Office of P-20 Collaboration, UAFS will also be able to fund the school busses that will bring the students to the performance. 


“We are honored to have this opportunity,” continued Harrison. “Without this extremely generous offer, many of our students would never have the opportunity to see a professional stage production.”


Tickets for the performance are $52 and $55 and can be purchased by calling (479) 788-7300, at the UAFS Box Office in the Smith-Pendergraft Campus Center and at UAFS.UniversityTickets.com.


Rachel Rodemann Putman
Photo Credits: 
Rachel Rodemann Putman
Date Posted: 
Monday, November 4, 2019
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