PORTSMOUTH-Named as the new Director of the Shawnee State University Musical Theatre program, Summer Logan has been with the university since 2012. A program designed to develop professional skills required of musical theatre artists, Logan is looking forward to continuing to promote the expansion of the degree on campus.
“Being an artist is always a labor of love,” Logan said. “I helped start this program, I’m from the area and I didn’t go to Shawnee because there was no opportunity at the time to be an artist, performer, choreographer or educator in those fields. I am interested in changing that by making sure that this program is continuing to grow and thrive so that artists that are from here and want to go here can thrive and find a community.”
Logan is currently working with her students on a brand-new musical called “Split Hickory,” composed by Elizabeth Alexander, who is also from Portsmouth, Ohio. Logan says the production is a portrait of a college student that returns home to Portsmouth during their Thanksgiving break. A lot of familiar experiences for people in Portsmouth are highlighted in the show. Alexander will assist Logan throughout October to work with the students on the production.
“Because this show is brand new and a world premiere, what we do at Shawnee is going to be the baseline, so we are setting the precedent,” said Logan. “Anybody who ever performs this play again will look back at this performance. Both the students and I are taking it very seriously. There’s some comedy and humor, but they are really taking the challenge of breaking the ground and being the originators.”
The department will present “Split Hickory” Nov. 9 – Nov. 12 in the Kahl Studio Theater of the Vern Riffe Center for the Arts. Tickets are available to purchase online at www.vrcfa.com or in-person at the McKinley Box Office.
The Musical Theatre program at SSU allows students to refine their music, dance, vocal, and acting skills to attain the performance levels required for a professional audition or admission into a graduate program. Incoming students must audition for admission to the program and auditions are held during the spring of each year.
To learn more about Shawnee State University’s Musical Theatre program, visit www.shawnee.edu/musical-theatre.