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Home > Past Buzz > I'm gonna live forever: Campus Lights goes retro for performance of 'Fame'

Lovett Auditorium's stage flashes back to the '80s this weekend as Phi Mu Alpha and Sigma Alpha Iota, in association with the Department of Music, present the musical "Fame" for this year's production of Campus Lights.

Stephen Keene, adviser for Phi Mu Alpha, filled the director's chair this year's Campus Lights production. Keene said this year marks the program's 70th annual performance.

"Campus Lights was founded in 1938," Keene said. "Phi Mu Alpha ? started Campus Lights as a way to get money to pay for their charter. After that first year they continued ? doing the show, and now the money goes toward scholarships in the music department."

Keene said proceeds from the event go toward a scholarship specifically for an incoming freshman who plans to focus on music and theater.

"One student is awarded the scholarship for four years," he said. "It is a $1,000 (award) per semester."

Besides helping students, Keene said he was drawn to directing the show because of its overriding message that hard work pays off in the end.

"Of course I grew up in the '80s," Keene said. "I've seen the movie and I grew up watching the television series, and when I heard there was a musical titled 'Fame' ? I really just fell in love with the story."

Paul Davis, junior from Elizabethtown, Ky., said Phi Mu Alpha also chose this production because it seemed like a show that would have a wide appeal to students on campus.

"We decided we wanted to do something that was a little more well-known," Davis said. "('Fame' is a) very, very exciting, music-filled, dancing-filled, action-packed show."

Davis, who also serves as the chairman of the fraternity's board of directors, said preparation for the production began last semester with rehearsals beginning Jan. 2.

"My job as chairman is to oversee the production," Davis said. "We've done a lot with (the time) we've had."

Despite the limited rehearsal time frame, Erica Van Buren, senior from Waterloo, Ill., said preparing for the show has been an enjoyable and rewarding experience.

"Everyone has been going non-stop since (rehearsals began)," Van Buren said.

Van Buren, who is a member of the chorus and a dancer in the show, said "Fame" differs from previous Campus Lights productions because of the way the show tells its story.

"I think it's a little more of an unconventional show," Van Buren said. "It doesn't have one main plot. It's more like five or six little stories in one show."

Since the show is entirely produced and performed by students, Van Buren said it has revealed a variety of different talents from her peers.

The Campus Lights production of "Fame" will be performed in Lovett Auditorium at 7 p.m. today and Saturday and at 2:30 p.m. Sunday.

Tickets will be available at the door for $7 for adults and $5 for senior citizens, children and Murray State students.

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