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Beth Reeves

Director



Professional Theatre
Springer Opera House

 by Natalia Temesgen

This is the true story of the extraordinary 6-year-old who helped shape history when she became the very first African-American sent to first grade in an all-white school - changing America forever. Set in New Orleans in 1960, Ruby eventually befriends students and teachers and lives out a faith that tells her to stand firm. Look at the world through Ruby’s eyes and discover the true promise of America.




Design Team
Scenic Designer  -  Matt Swindell
Costume and Wig Designer - Alex Allison
Light Designer - Katie Underwood
Properties Designer  - Patti Fenzell
Sound Designer - Julianne Slaton
Technical Director -Walter Pigford
Production Stage Manager - MH Harrison


 

An interview with Dr. Janet Bussey on integration in Columbus, Ga. Video courtesy of the Springer Opera House

Look Forward: The Ruby Bridges STory Project

As a professional teaching artist, I had the pleasure of leading a teaching residency with the students of South Columbus Elementary School (Columbus, Georgia) where I shared about the life of Ruby Bridges. During the collaborative process with playwright Natalia Temesgen, we discussed what students took away from each workshop and how the story took up space in their little hearts. Students were able to articulate and creatively express how Ruby Bridges displayed bravery-their way.  Using arts integration as a paradigm, students were able empathize and express the meaning of her tenacity and perseverance. I was also I given the pleasure of interviewing Dr. Janet Bussey, one of the first African-American students integrated into Columbus High School in Columbus, Georgia during the Civil Rights Movement. After a nearly 3-year study process of researching Ruby Bridges' life, teaching about her determination through arts integration (two different workshops), collaborating and devising with an extraordinary playwright, being hit by COVID-19 (which kept putting the show back season after season), and interviewing a brave soul who never backed down to fear in Columbus, Ga., I was inspired and ready to take care of the storytelling as a director. With inspirational hints of Margaret Taylor-Burroughs (Louisiana native to honor Ruby Bridges) and Alma Thomas (Columbus, Ga. native to honor Dr. Bussey) displayed on the set and the soulful sound of Mahalia Jackson, this collaborative project/production cultivated into a masterpiece that will forever honor the life of 
Ruby Bridges.
(Runner-Up 2022 Broadway Regional Atlanta Award for Best New Play or Musical)

PAIR+2.jpg

 Teaching students at South Columbus Elementary (Fall 2019)
(Picture 
courtesy of the Springer Opera House and PAIR PROGRAM)

Right to left: Temesgen (Playwright), Dr. Bussey, Reeves (Director)
(Fall 2022)

written by Robert Harling
A beloved story of the enduring friendship of six eccentric small-town women who gather weekly at Truvy's Beauty Spot. They prove they are made of steel as they share their hopes, dreams, and tragedies.








Design Team
Scenic Designer  -  Matt Swindell
Costume and Wig Designer - Alex Allison
Light Designer - Katie Underwood
Properties Designer  - Patti Fenzell
Sound Designer - Julianne Slaton
Technical Director -Walter Pigford
Production Stage Manager - Rebecca Gossett


 




University Theatre

Columbus State University