Educator & Theatre Artist

Bright Star

written by edie brickell and steve martin

 Bright Star


A rowdy story of southern womanhood, autonomy, and resilience.

Director’s Note

An ironic combination of love and injustice courses through every North Carolina mountain, every pine tree, every creek. Bright Star fosters a warm reconnection with the resilient and heart-filled spirit of the place many of us consider home. These characters’ stories remind us of the steadfast strength to be found within ourselves, in the people that surround us, and in our roots. However, our Southern homes are not without flaw. Alice Murphy’s story is one of a woman’s agency stolen by people with unearned authority. Coupled with the warmth and love in her NC home is an oppressive, unjust force perpetuated by the fear and hatred of those with power- any power. As a queer Southern woman, I’ve found personal connection with this conflict. But Bright Star’s story of gendered hostility and attempted suppression of freedom is just one of many actualities where injustice resides in the South. Deeply embedded fear has resulted in a history and a present reality of racism, sexism, xenophobia, homophobia, and transphobia in the hearts, minds, actions, and laws of this beautiful state. While Bright Star explores only one of these intolerances, in viewing this work we, as NC residents, may challenge ourselves to translate the themes of this early 20th century tale to the many injustices that have and continue to exist in our state and our country, as I believe Alice would do.



2019 Alpha Psi Omega Oppie Awards

Best Musical
Best Ensemble Acting in a Musical
Best Direction of a Musical - Ruthie Allen
Best Choreography - Dikenna Ogbo
Best Technical Direction - Thomas Davids
Best Conductor - Raj Dutta
Best Lead Actor - Haley Stone as Alice
Best Supporting Actor - Betsy Scarisbrick as Lucy


2019 Penny Awards

Best Musical
Best Direction - Ruthie Allen
Best Choreography - Dikenna Ogbo
Best Pit Performance - Conducted by Raj Dutta
Best Costume Design - George Chaprastian and Marissa Lupkas
Best Light Design - Anna Blythe
Best Stage Management - Elly Leidner and Kezia Holder-Cozart
Best Set Design - Thomas Davids
Best Music Direction - Hannah James and Raj Dutta
Best Small Group Number - “Please Don’t Take Him”
Best Ensemble Number - “Another Round”
Best Duet - “Whoa Mama”
Best Leading Actress - Haley Stone as Alice
Best Supporting Actress - Campbell Kargo as Mayor Dobbs
Best Supporting Actor - Clay Cooper as Jimmy Ray
Best Featured Actress - Betsy Scarisbrick as Lucy
Best Featured Actor - Ryan Alderman as Daryl



Daily Tar Heel Story by Pranav Chintalapudi

“It is an idealistic, big-hearted production, and it maintains a deep connection to North Carolina — a connection that’s constantly expressed through its compelling themes.”

“At the end of the day, that is the core of the production: connections, shared love for the land and its history and an innate link between people.”

“It’s just got something for everyone, Stone and Allen said, whether that something is excitement, rollicking tunes or, perhaps, a bright, shining hope for the future — one that anyone can relate to, bluegrass lover or not.”

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Choreographer Dikenna Ogbo and Director Ruthie Allen at Opening Night of Bright Star

Choreographer Dikenna Ogbo and Director Ruthie Allen at Opening Night of Bright Star

The Team

Directed by Ruthie Allen
Choreographed by Dikenna Ogbo
Music Directed by Hannah James and Raj Dutta
Conducted by Raj Dutta
Assistant Directed by Marcella Pansini
Costumes Designed by George Chaprastian and Marissa Lupkas
Set Designed and Constructed by Thomas Davids
Lights Designed by Anna Blythe
Props Designed by Hannah Hendren
Sound Designed by Patrick Weeks
Produced by Bryant Chappell and Frankie Lipscomb-Cobbs
Stage Managed by Elly Leidner and Kezia Holder-Cozart


All Bright Star Rehearsal Stills by Marcella Pansini