Troy University Theater and Public Radio collaborate on audio drama “Tinyard Hill”
University of Troy Department of Theater and Dance will air this weekend with the audio musical “Tinyard Hill” premiering on TROY Public Radio.
“Tinyard Hill” was written by Drama Faculty Fellow Tommy Newman and collaborator Mark Allen. Students and faculty recorded and produced it at a local studio in Brundidge.
The musical is a four-person performance set in a small town in Georgia in the 1960s.
“It touches on some of the things that were happening,” said Tori Lee Averett, director of the theater and dance department. “More specifically, the two things he discusses in terms of content are the Vietnam War and aspects of racial harmony in the South at a difficult time.”
Although set during a difficult time, Averett sees a deeper meaning behind the script.
“I think it’s a lot more about how we are towards each other as neighbors and as people in a community,” Averett said. “These are some of the basic ideas of how we treat each other. “
The theater department began exploring the idea of audio production as a way to reach audiences at a time when live performances were restricted due to COVID-19.
The Theater and Dance department will collaborate with TROY Public Radio to play the audio musical on air.
The broadcast dates include Saturday July 3 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., Sunday July 4 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. and Monday July 5 from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m.
They will also feature interviews with the cast on “Talk of Troy” and “In Focus”.
“Last year we really worked to try to find different ways to reach the audience that we love and who have come to expect us to produce,” said Averett. “One of the ways we experienced ‘Tinyard Hill’ was audio theater.”
Troy Public Radio’s director of operations Kyle Gassiott said the play is a great opportunity to provide entertaining and artistically compelling content to listeners.
“Audio is really important right now,” says Kyle Gassiott, COO of TROY Public Radio. “It’s really hot and it’s so exciting to have this collaboration with TROY Theater. This is the first time the radio station and the theater department have collaborated to do this and it’s such an amazing production to be our first. I think when people plug in and hear it, you’ll get so much out of it.
Averett performed alongside his students who also work alongside Broadway artist Tad Wilson.
“They’re with a Broadway artist almost every day,” Averett said. “He answers their questions, but they also watch how he rehearses and how he behaves.
Averett owes the success of the production to his students.
“They’ve been so resilient during this COVID challenge,” Averett said. “Despite what can be a scary or questionable time in their young lives and the careers they have chosen, I was amazed at how they came out with more eagerness and more hunger.
“They are wonderful ambassadors for TROY and I am so excited that the whole world is experiencing what I see every day.”