Behind the scenes of how an Evangel grad created The Blue Man Group
February 16, 2012 | Evangel University News
Evangel has graduates all across the world working and serving in some remarkable ways; however Phil Stanton may have found one of the most unique. Who isn’t familiar with the Blue Man Group? But what you may not know is that the group was founded by an Evangel University alum. Recently the group toured through Springfield, Missouri, and the Springfield News-Leader had the chance to visit with Stanton about how his time at Evangel shaped the creative genius behind the Blue Man Group.
When members of the Blue Man Group storm their way onto the stage at Juanita K. Hammons Hall for the Performing Arts this weekend, they will have gone through miles of toilet paper rolled over their audiences, tons of blue greasepaint smeared over their faces and hands and thousands of performances.
In Springfield, however, they’ll have something else that few venues have — a local connection. Phil Stanton, one of the Blue Man Group’s founders, is an Evangel University alumnus.
A 1983 graduate, Stanton spoke happily of his days at Evangel and his work with theater professor David Smith. A double major in dramatic arts and biblical studies, Stanton said he learned things from Smith that remain “incredibly important, even to this day.
“What I learned from David helped a lot with our stylized characters,” he said. “David is a real classicist, and I’ve always really appreciated what I learned at Evangel — lighting, directing and acting, a little bit of everything.
“Phil was very innovative when he was here,” said Smith, who has been teaching at Evangel for 32 years. “He learned everything he could from me, then went beyond that.
“Maybe I laid a little bit of a foundation for him, but he was already creative.”
Stanton came to Evangel from Savannah, Ga., where his dad was a minister. He wanted to go to an Assemblies of God school, but he also wanted a liberal arts education, and Evangel was a good fit.
Springfield News-Leader, February 15, 2012
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