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“My Fair Lady” to be performed at Evangel University

Published on Mar 13, 2019 by Paul K. Logsdon

Poster by Emily Rose, a jr. graphic arts major from Springfield, Ill.

Springfield, Mo. — Six performances of the six-time Tony Award-winning musical My Fair Lady will be presented by Evangel University in the Fine Arts Theatre this spring.

The production will premiere on March 28, 29 at 7:00 p.m., with a 2:00 p.m. matinee on Saturday, March 30. A second weekend of shows is scheduled for April 11-13 at 7 p.m.

Reserved-seat tickets $15 for the general public, $12 for seniors, and $10 for students and children. They are available online or by calling (417) 865-2811 ext. 8640.

The entrance to the Barnett Fine Arts Center is just south of the Spence Chapel, at 1111 N. Glenstone Ave. in Springfield.

A stern Henry Higgins (Jon Spence) teaches Eliza Doolittle (Mariah Murrish) to speak proper English. Here Eliza is practicing the letter “H,” where the flame must flicker but not go out. A bewildered Colonel Pickering (Cole Stoecker) looks on. // PHOTO BY: Paul K. Logsdon

My Fair Lady is Lerner and Loewe’s award-winning story of a cockney flower girl transformed into an elegant lady. An unlikely friendship begins to flourish between Eliza Doolittle and Professor Henry Higgins when he tries to teach her to speak like a proper lady.

It is widely considered one of the greatest musicals of all time, according to Music Theatre International. The show collected six Tony Awards, including Best Musical, when it opened on Broadway in 1956 starring Julie Andrews and Rex Harrison.

In addition, the 1964 film version of My Fair Lady, starring Audrey Hepburn and Rex Harrison, earned eight Oscars, including Best Picture.

The Cast and Crew

The cast of 33 students is under the direction of Dr. Vickie Wisdom, associate professor of theatre at Evangel, and Lori Lawley, alumna and adjunct instructor of theatre.

“We are excited to be bringing this great musical back by popular demand,” said Dr. Wisdom. “Evangel’s theatre department last produced My Fair Lady in the spring of 2007 and performed to sold-out crowds.”

Aside from the student performers, who represent a wide range of academic departments on campus, the theatre program is collaborating with both the art and music programs at Evangel. Graphic arts students contributed their talents in competing for the logo and poster rights, and the design by Emily Rose, a junior from Springfield, Ill., was selected for the production.

Art majors are also contributing their talents to the show’s set. “Denton Highfield and Sarah Peacock are working as designers and painters for the show,” said Dr. Wisdom. “Highfield is one of the most creative scenic designers I have seen in a student!”


MARCH 20, 2019 interview on KRZK “Ozarks Fox AM News”


The eccentric Henry Higgins (Jon Spence) teaches Eliza Doolittle (Mariah Murrish) to speak proper English by placing marbles in her mouth. // PHOTO BY: Paul K. Logsdon

Lead Characters:

  • Eliza Doolittle ….. Mariah Murrish, a junior from Dallas, Texas.
  • Henry Higgins ….. Jon Spence, a senior from Nixa, Mo.
  • Colonel Pickering ….. Cole Stoecker, a junior from Wilmington, Pa.
  • Alfie P. Doolittle ….. James Heil, a senior from Godfrey, Ill.
  • Mrs. Pearce ….. Lisa Earlenbaugh, a sophomore from Shawnee, Kan.
  • Mrs. Higgins ….. Erin Payne, a junior from Ottumwa, Iowa.
  • Freddy Eynsford-Hill ….. Brenton Newell, a sophomore from Elmhurst, Ill.
  • Mrs. Hopkins ….. Amanda Orr, a freshman from Fair Grove, Mo.

Cockney Quartet:

  • Harry ….. Nathaniel Parrales, a junior from Dallas, Texas.
  • Jamie ….. Chandler Gray, a sophomore from Sedalia, Mo.
  • Willie ….. Luke Carpenter, a sophomore from Costa Mesa, Calif.
  • Charlie ….. Josiah Love, a junior from Marshall, Mo.

Servants’ Chorus:

  • Mary ….. Ella Little, a sophomore from Lincoln, Neb.
  • Florence ….. Bethany Crandall, a junior from Milton, Wisc.
  • Rose ….. Anneli Lofgren, a senior from Bronx, N.Y.
  • Annie ….. Summer Raderschadt, a freshman from Hayti, S.D.
  • Robert ….. Luke Carpenter
  • William ….. Chandler Gray
  • Richard ….. Jason Pendleton, a senior at Willard High School
  • Paul ….. Jayce Burney, a senior at Willard High School
  • Mrs. Eynsford-Hill ….. Noel Lutes, a sophomore from Milan, Tenn.
  • Professor Zoltan Karpathy ….. Vincent Bushong, a senior from Montezuma, Iowa.
Henry Higgins (Jon Spence) and Colonel Pickering (Cole Stoecker). // PHOTO BY: Paul K. Logsdon


  • Flower Girl/Principal Dancer ….. Allison Barker, a freshman from Mount Vernon, Mo.
  • Bartender/Footman ….. Darrick Clark, a sophomore from Clever, Mo.
  • Principal Dancer ….. Lauren Cordner, a sophomore from Brookville, Ohio.
  • Lord Boxinton/Angry Man ….. Dylan Durham, a sophomore from Sturgon, Mo
  • Mrs. Higgins’ Maid/Lady Boxington ….. Shantell Gamlen, a senior from Arlington, Wash.
  • Principal Dancer ….. Maddison Garner, a junior from Quincy, Ill.
  • Character ….. Paige Gifford, a sophomore from Brighton, Colo.
  • Selsey Man/Butler ….. Adam Gillen, a junior from Morenci, Mich.
  • Policeman/Principal Dancer ….. Jachin Like, a freshman from Benbrook, Texas.
  • Principal Dancer ….. Anna Joy Shirley, a sophomore from Franklin, Tenn.
  • Queen of Transylvania ….. Hannah Sowers, a senior from Gallup, N.M.
  • Angry Woman ….. Cody VanBibber, a freshman from Excelsior Springs, Mo.
  • Principal Dancer ….. Juliana Vitosh, a freshman from Andover, Kan.
  • Charles …… Jason Pendleton

Stage Managers:

  • Ryana Aguilera, a sophomore from Ventura, Calif.
  • Caleb Gravot, a senior from Fairview Heights, Ill.
  • Abbigail Vaughan, a sophomore from Cordova, Tenn.
  • Annalise Williams, a sophomore from Gahanna, Ohio.

Academic options in theatre at Evangel

The theatre program at Evangel University is under the Humanities Department and is housed in the Barnett Fine Arts Center. There are three majors offered to students interested in this area of study.

  • The theatre major provides instruction in theatre history, literary appreciation of dramatic literature, dramatic interpretation, and the performance skills demanded of a theatre artist. Theatre majors gain practical experiences in acting, directing, set design and costume design.
  • The theatre/speech education degree program brings the stage to life for those passionate about educating students in effective interpretation. The program provides a broad track with exposure to multiple disciplines of informative, dramatic, persuasive and improvisational communication styles. Students may also get practical experience in speech and debate by participating with Evangel’s forensics team.
  • The Humanities Department and the Music Department have collaborated to offer a major, combining elements of both theatre and music instruction. Evangel developed the theatre/music program to meet a clear need in professional-theatre and church sectors for well-trained college graduates with a hybrid theatre-and-music background.

Evangel University, which includes the Assemblies of God Theological Seminary (AGTS), is a comprehensive Christian university committed to excellence in educating and equipping students to serve the church and society globally. Evangel serves more than 2,100 students from all 50 states and numerous foreign countries, offering 65 undergraduate majors and 19 master’s and doctoral degrees.