Senior project will shine spotlight on the Miller

It was the perfect senior project for Michael Ryan.

"I want to major in theater and historic preservation, and this marries those nicely," said the Greenbrier High School senior, who enlisted three classmates to stage the Music for the Miller concert at 8 p.m. Saturday at West Acres Baptist Church in Evans.

Area acts will compete in the show.

"We had a storyteller, two bands, musical theater, lyrical and ballet dancers" audition to perform, he said.

In addition, Don Rhodes, of Morris Communications Corp., will speak about entertainment in Augusta and the Miller Theatre on Broad Street.

Senior Lizzie Derr has choreographed a dance featuring an unusual medley of songs for the show's finale.

"It's Sweet Home Alabama, The Nutcracker and Moulin Rouge," Mr. Ryan said.

The pieces highlighted different performances at the theater. The rock group Lynyrd Skynyrd performed there; the Augusta Ballet presented The Nutcracker ; and A Night at the Moulin Rouge played there, too.

Ms. Derr, who spent a decade dancing with the Columbia County Ballet, said she found it a challenge to choreograph a piece and direct the dancers rather than simply dancing.

"Your senior project is supposed to be a learning stretch," she said. "Mine has been a learning stretch."

About 15 students from Greenbrier, Augusta State University and Augusta Preparatory Day School, along with a few who are home-schooled, will participate in that number, Ms. Derr said.

Stacy Reynolds, who has worked with the Augusta Players and with Young Artists Repertory Theater, has volunteered as musical director. Senior Zachary Lewallen serves as the technical director.

The concert will feature a silent auction. Senior Katherine Bonner is the business manager for the project. She said the response from the community has been overwhelming.

"Seeing how many people want to be involved in this is really exciting," she said.

Mr. Ryan said the major goal is not necessarily to raise a lot of money.

"We will probably raise enough money for seven light bulbs in the new marquee," he said. "The main purpose is to raise awareness. The real goal is to show people do care about the Miller."

Tickets cost $8.

For more information, call (706) 832-2360.

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