Janet L. McCoy


AUBURN -- Thirty years after winning the Tony Award for best musical on Broadway, Auburn University Theatre will showcase Cabaret Feb. 20-25 as its first performance of 200. It will also honor one of the university's most outstanding citizen's Harry M. Philpott.

It was during Philpott's tenure as president of AU from 1965 to 1979 that the award winning Telfair Peet Theatre was built as part of the fine arts complex that now bears his name.

Performances will be Feb. 20-24 at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, Feb. 25, at 2 p.m. There will be a reception and ceremony in Philpott's honor at the Friday, Feb. 23, performance.

Tickets are $10 for students, $12 for seniors and AU faculty/staff and $14 for the general public. For reservations or more information call 844-4154.

The Auburn production is under the direction of Ralph Miller, a professor of theatre and interim head of AU's Department of Theatre, with musical direction provided by Tom Smith, director of choral activities at AU and interim head of AU's Department of Music.

The play features some of the best known songs in musical theatre, including "Wilkommen," "Tomorrow Belongs To Me,","Money," and of course, "Cabaret".

With music and lyrics by John Kander and Fred Ebb, and book by Joe Masteroff, Cabaret tells the story of an English woman's romance with an American writer set against the backdrop of a rapidly crumbling Germany at the beginning of the Third Reich.

Based on the true life experiences of Christopher Isherwood, Cabaret was originally directed on Broadway by Hal Prince with Jill Haworth starring as Sally Bowles and Joel Grey as The Emcee. Liza Minelli later played Sally in the film version of the musical directed by Bob Fosse.

Philpott received his undergraduate degree from Washington and Lee University in 1938, where he began his administrative career as director of religious activities. He served as a chaplain in the Navy during World War II, seeing action with the Third and Fifth Fleets in the Pacific Theater. In 1947 he earned a Ph.D. from Yale University in religion and higher education.

Philpott taught religion at the University of Florida from 1947 to1952; served as dean of religious life and head of the religion and philosophy department at Stephens College for five years after; and returned to the University of Florida as vice president from1957 to 1965 before coming to Auburn.

During his 15-year term as president, Philpott led Auburn's transformation from a polytechnic institute into a comprehensive university. He presided over steady growth in student enrollment and the construction of more than 30 new buildings, including the 10-story Haley Center and an entirely new campus for the College of Veterinary Medicine.

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CONTACT: Linda Bell, marketing director for AU Theatre, 334/844-6617.