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'Batboy' set to entertain Fort Hood soldiers

Posted by Jayme Blaschke
University News Service
November 9, 2009

Batboy at Texas State

Up to 300 soldiers from Fort Hood and Fort Sam Houston will attend a preview performance of Batboy: The Musical Nov. 10 at Texas State University-San Marcos in conjunction with the United Service Organization.

The event is being hosted by the Department of Theatre and Dance at Texas State and was planned prior to the tragic shooting on post Nov. 5. Country music legend Larry Gatlin will also be in attendance, offering his support to the troops as well as to the newly revised Musical Theatre program.

“After last week’s tragedy at Fort Hood, we hope that we can provide some relief and entertainment to the men and women of our Armed Forces,” said John Fleming, chair of the department of theatre and dance. “This event is in the spirit of the long-running tradition of the USO, of providing entertainment to the men and women who defend our country.”

Bat Boy: The Musical is a cult hit based on the Weekly World News tabloid story of a half-boy, half-bat discovered in a cave. This campy, satirical twist on the modern musical comedy was hailed by the New York Times as “darkly funny, but curiously touching.”

“One of our alums [actress Susan Lynch] is the daughter of Lt. General Rick Lynch,” Fleming said. “I read a story about the ‘Family First’ program he created at Fort Hood. I was deeply moved by his efforts, and wanted the department to show its support and contribute to the overall well-being of these courageous men and women.”

Director Kaitlin Hopkins was a Drama Desk nominee for originating the role of “Meredith” in the 2001 New York production. In addition to Hopkins, an award-winning creative team--Sheila Hargett (Costumes), Michelle Ney (Scenery), David Nancarrow (Lighting), and Robin Lewis (Chorography)--join the all-student cast.

“I think as artists we need to give back to the community,” said Hopkins, the new head of musical theatre at Texas State. “Our students are the same age as many of the soldiers, and so I am excited that we can do this event. I think it is going to be a fun, entertaining show, and I know the cast is honored to be hosting the troops.

“I was in the off-Broadway production and so I know the standard we are seeking,” she said. “I think audiences are going to be really impressed by what they see. The students have worked extremely hard, and I’m so glad that the soldiers from Fort Hood will be the first to see what we have created.”

Tickets for the preview performance are being distributed at Fort Hood, while tickets for the general run (November 11-15, 18-22) are available via the Texas State Theatre Box Office: 245-2204.