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Thursday, August 25, 2016

Billy McGuigan Returns to Denison With New Show

Rave On: The Buddy Holly Experience reinvents the ordinary tribute show with an electrifying, high-energy, rock n’ roll extravaganza featuring America’s premier Buddy Holly interpreter, Billy McGuigan! 

If you missed him at the Omaha Playhouse in June, you can catch him in October at the Donna Reed Theatre in Denison, Iowa.

Billy McGuigan as Buddy Holly

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Jared Grimes to choreography Signature Theatre's “Jelly's Last Jam”

Jared Grimes, choreographer

2014 Astaire Award winner for Outstanding Male Performer in a Broadway show

Jared Grimes, 2001 Donna Reed Foundation national scholarship recipient in dance, will bring a dazzling, high-energy choreography to the Arlington, Virginia's Signature Theatre in its upcoming production of Jelly's Last Jam.

Jelly’s Last Jam, according to the Signature, “tells the story of one of jazz music’s pioneers with a jazz, blues, and ragtime score based on Jelly Roll Morton’s original music. Journey from the back alleys of New Orleans to the dance halls of Chicago to the stages of New York with ’he who drinks from the vine of syncopation’ in a sizzling memoir of pride, lust and a past denied.”

Grimes has danced alongside legends such as Wynton Marsalis Gregory Hines, Ben Vereen, Jerry Lewis, Fayard Nicholas and also performed for Barack Obama and Ted Kennedy at the Kennedy Center.

At age 30, he was named outstanding male dancer in a Broadway show at the Fred and Adele Astaire Awards in New York. He won for his tap dancing in the Cotton Club-era musical revue, After Midnight.

Grimes made his choreography debut in Cirque Du Soleil's, Banana Shpeel off-broadway, choreographed commercials for Chilis and also assisted choreography with Kristin Denehy for Macy's popular Kids Bop commercial.

"Shuffle Along" Tony nominee Brandon Victor Dixon joins Broadway's "Hamilton"

Brandon Victor Dixon

1999 Donna Reed scholarship finalist in musical theater cast as new Aaron Burr

Two-time Tony Award nominee Brandon Victor Dixon (Shuffle Along) will join the cast of Broadway's Hamilton in mid-August, replacing Tony winner Leslie Odom Jr.

Dixon was nominated last season for a Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Musical for Shuffle Along, and was previously nominated for Best Featured Actor for the original production of the The Color Purple. The stage star previously acted in Motown and the Off Broadway production of The Scottsboro Boys.

In addition to winning the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, Hamilton won 11 Tony Awards this year, including the evening's biggest prize, Best Musical. The show's creator Lin-Manuel Miranda took home two prizes himself for both Book and Score, while his costar Leslie Odom Jr. bested him in the Leading Actor category.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Brandon Victor Dixon nominated for Tony Award

Brandon Victor Dixon

1999 Donna Reed scholarship finalist in musical theater

Brandon Victor Dixon, a 1999 Donna Reed scholarship finalist in musical theater, has been nominated for a 2016 Tony Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical. Dixon is currently starring as Eubie Blake in Shuffle Along on Broadway. The production received 10 nominations including Best Musical.

Dixon is known for creating the Broadway roles of Harpo in The Color Purple (2005) receiving a Tony Award nomination, and Berry Gordy Jr. in Motown: The Musical (2013) receiving a Grammy nomination. In London's West End, he played the role of Hayward Patterson in The Scottsboro Boys

His television credits include "The Good Wife," "Law & Order: Criminal Intent," and "One Life to Live."

The Tony Awards will be broadcast live from the Beacon Theatre in New York City on Sunday, June 12 at 8:00 p.m. EDT on CBS.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Donna Reed Scholarship alumna nominated for Tony Award

Saycon Sengbloh

College Park, GA native has starring role in Eclipsed

Saycon Sengbloh has been nominated for Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Play. She was a 1996 Donna Reed Foundation national scholarship winner in acting and musical theater.

Eclipsed has been making history ever since it debuted on Broadway this year. Now, the cast and crew are up for six Tony Award nominations.

Penned by Zimbabwean-American actress, playwright and star of The Walking Dead, Danai Gurira, it tells the story of five women during the Liberian civil war.

Other nominations include Best Play, Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Play (Lupita Nyong’o), Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Play (Pascale Armand), Best Costume Design of a Play (Clint Ramos) and Best Direction of a Play (Liesl Tommy).

The 70th Annual Tony Awards are set to take place Sunday, June 12th, at the Beacon Theater in New York City. They’ll be televised on CBS.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

"Disney's The Lion King KIDS" Is Coming To Denison, IA

This summer's production.

The award-winning musical that has captivated audiences around the world comes to life during June workshop.

This summer's Children's Musical Theater workshop production is the popular “Disney's Lion King KIDS.” It's a fun-filled week designed to teach the basics of musical theater to kids in grades K-8 who love singing, dancing and challenges. The workshop runs from June 13 – 17 and concludes with a performance for the public on Saturday, June 18. All events will take place at the high school, 819 North 16th St in Denison.

Since its meager beginning in 2004, this popular workshop has blossomed under the direction of Allison Rasmussen, a Manilla native and an instructional coach at Waverly-Shell Rock Community Schools. This is the tenth year she has volunteered to head this workshop production. She is assisted by a dedicated team, including former students who have aged out of the program. All give a week of their time to help stage the production.

Even local grandparents have discovered a benefit. By enrolling their grandchildren in the program, they get to spend quality time with them during the week of the workshop.

Workshop information and tuition rates can be found by downloading our registration form, by calling 712.263.3334 or by stopping at the Donna Reed Foundation office, 1305 Broadway, Denison, IA.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Little Boyer Blues Society teams with The Donna Reed Foundation

Rock Legends graphic

Unique concert to rock Donna Reed Theater

The Donna Reed Foundation and the Little Boyer Blues Society are bringing Billy McGuigan, a tribute band from Omaha, Nebraska, to the Donna Reed Theater in Denison, to perform the Rock Legends show at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 30.

Rock Legends is a customized show – part rock concert and part rock tribute. Audience members are given the opportunity to pick the songs and music they want to hear through music personality tests prior to the show.

The show features rock and roll of the 1950s, the psychedelic sounds of the 1960s, as well as music from the 1970s and 1980s.

Tickets cost $30 for seating on the main floor, $25 for seating in the lower balcony section and $15 for seating in the upper balcony section. Tickets may be purchased at the Donna Reed Foundation office, by calling 712-263-3334 or by e-mail at The Donna Reed Theater is located at 1305 Broadway in uptown Denison, Iowa. 

Money raised by the concert will go toward the maintenance and operation of the Donna Reed Theater building.