Sam Houston State theatre department presents a musical journey with 'Violet'

Danny Moore (Courtesy Photo)Sam Houston State University’s Department of Theatre and Musical Theatre presents the musical Violet from Nov. 18 - 21.

Sam Houston State University’s Department of Theatre and Musical Theatre presents the musical Violet from Nov. 18 - 21.

The production takes audiences on a cross-country road trip with a farm girl traveling through the segregated American South in 1964; just weeks after the passage of the Civil Rights Act. Branded as “ugly” with a face disfigurement, she hopes to be healed by an evangelical TV preacher in Tulsa.

Exploring feelings associated with living life as an "other" within societal normalcy, Violet reflects on how physical appearances impact how we see ourselves or how we see and treat others.

SHSU student, Brooke Tamayo, who plays the leading role, believes the show has given her a deeper perspective into America’s past.

“Being set in 1964, this show deals with a lot of sensitive subjects such as prejudice and racism,” she said. “It was very present in the U.S. during that time, and especially in the South. Dealing with a story as raw and human as this, has opened my eyes to the true nature of these themes throughout our history.”

While Violet may cover difficult topics, Tamayo believes the show offers a powerful, uplifting message.

“I hope that audiences leave the show with a full heart and the understanding that love comes from within. Everyone is deserving of unconditional love, despite their past,” she said.

Directed by Aaron Brown, music numbers featured in the production showcase a range of music genres including country, folk, bluegrass, blues and gospel music styles. With a score from Tony-winning composer Jeanine Tesori and book and lyrics by the acclaimed Brian Crawley, Violet is inspired by the short story, “The Ugliest Pilgrim” by Doris Betts.

“My favorite scene is probably the closing number, Bring Me To Light. I think it’s beautiful musically, and the whole cast just comes together and really has a good time on stage. It’s a very hopeful song that I think will leave audiences smiling,” Tamayo said.

The production will be presented to live audiences and also via online live streaming. Performances run Nov. 18 ­- 21 at 7:30 p.m. with an additional 2 p.m. Saturday matinee. Online stream options will be available starting Nov. 19. Please visit http://www.shsutickets.com for details and an Audience FAQ page. For ticketing questions, email the box office at tickets@shsu.edu or call 936-294-2339. Streaming platform is hosted by ShowTix4U.com.

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