“C’mon in and Sit Right Down and Make Yourself at Home!”
As I began to prepare for directing Always…Patsy Cline, I was looking at the list of songs that would be presented in the musical. I was a bit surprised that I knew practically every song on the list. I can’t say that I am any kind of aficionado when it comes to country music, but I honestly can’t remember ever not knowing Patsy’s iconic songs. As I did more research, there was much to discover about her humble upbringing and her early rise to fame. There are wonderful video clips of her television appearances and concerts that I viewed to steep myself in “All things Patsy.” I would most definitely say the preparation phase for this show has been a labor of love. On a daily basis I will have multiple Patsy Cline songs playing in my head. And while it might get a little much sometimes, I can think of few other songs that I would enjoy having stuck in my head than Patsy Cline’s. The story of this musical revue is intimate and personal. It marks the beginning of a deep and lasting friendship. It also highlights and showcases the talent of “our” Patsy (Laura Beth Wells). I know she has spent many hours studying Patsy searching to create an authentic performance. It’s been a joy to see her development. (You’re going to love it.) Deanna Surber, who plays her friend Louise, has the great task of narrating this beautiful story. She is the twine that ties the story together. Together these two amazing performers will make us laugh, cry and cheer for the sheer talent that was Patsy Cline.
Patsy Cline received many richly deserved accolades in her short career. It is a testament to her talent, perseverance and fortitude that she was able to accomplish so much in such a short time. While she was here on earth 30 short years, her legacy continues to the present. You will bear witness to that legacy this evening as we join together to remember, honor, and celebrate her life and music. Numerous times during tonight’s performance you may gasp, sigh, or even swoon when the band begins playing one of her iconic songs. This wonderful musical revue, crafted so beautifully by Ted Swindley, is a joy to behold. The very personal story that weaves itself through the show is a true one. The character of “Louise” (Louise Seger) existed, and did indeed meet and establish a close personal friendship with Patsy. The many letters and phone calls they exchanged over a six-year period created a bond that few could be so fortunate to have shared. This show has been three years in the making due to Covid. We are so thrilled to be able to bring you this much awaited production of Always… Patsy Cline.
TERRY D. ALFORD (Director) Terry is a Distinguished Lecturer in Theatre and teaches Musical Theatre Performance and Honor’s Introduction to the Theatre and Acting. Prior to joining the UT faculty Mr. Alford held the positions of Director of Musical Theatre at The University of Tulsa, and Director of Musical Theatre at The University of Wisconsin at Stevens Point. He has worked professionally as a performer, director, musical director, and composer at theaters across the country, including the California Theatre Center, Madison Repertory, Omaha Playhouse, Augusta Barn, Fireside Theatre, Light Opera of Oklahoma, and the Clarence Brown Theatre. Terry has directed or musically directed numerous productions and has created the scores for four original musicals and a variety of chamber and vocal music pieces. Terry also directs or musically directs shows locally with the Flying Anvil Theatre and the Knoxville Children’s Theatre. He earned his BA and MFA in theatre from The University of Tennessee. Terry is a member of the Clarence Brown Professional Company and regularly directs and musically directs for the Clarence Brown Theatre. Favorite CBT directing credits include South Pacific, A Shayna Maidel, The Real Inspector Hound, The 25 th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Assassins, and Into the Woods. Favorite CBT Musical Direction credits include Urinetown, Spamalot, Kiss Me Kate, The Who’s Tommy, and Man of La Mancha. In addition, Terry composes incidental music for CBT productions and is the director of the CBT Summer Acting Workshop and serves as co-facilitator of Outreach and Education hosting Theatre Tours and Talk Backs.