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Food, Friends and Fun-ds!

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Michael Kennedy (center) with SAU Theatre students

November 2011


The first thing that comes to mind when you hear "benefit performance" is probably not 75-year-olds running around in lingerie, but surprisingly, that is exactly what the Kennedy Scholarship Benefit dinner was. 

The Michael Kennedy Scholarship is an annual scholarship for one first year theatre student. The St. Ambrose Theatre Department teamed up with Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse in Rock Island, IL for a benefit performance of "Nana's Naughty Knickers," a romp about an elderly lingerie saleswoman and her aging customers. Denny Hitchcock, owner of Circa '21 and longtime friend of the SAU Theatre Department, graciously donated a percentage of the proceeds from the night's box office receipts to the Kennedy Scholarship fund.  

The night also included a live auction with items ranging from dinner with Broadway director Phil McKinley to a fish fry dinner served up by Ambrose Theatre faculty. The event pulled in a grand total of $3,800. This year's Kennedy Scholar, Jacob Hanenberger '15, as well as previous scholars Stephanie Seward '13 and Aaron Randolph '02, '12 attended the dinner, along with several Ambrose students and faculty.

This is the second time Circa '21 hosted the Kennedy Benefit, and Dr. Cory Johnson, SAU Theatre Department chair, has high hopes for upcoming years.

"We are very thankful that we have such generous people like Denny Hitchcock supporting our department, and we hope to foster this relationship for years to come," says Johnson.

In addition to the benefit dinner, another event planned for next year to raise funds for the scholarship, and the department, include the very exciting Alumni/Faculty/Student production of "You Can't Take It With You," next September on the Galvin mainstage.

But money isn't everything! In addition to some much appreciated aid taken away from the event, there are good memories to be kept as well. Stacy Phipps '13, attended the event and says "I think it was wonderful to see the theaters working together to support education. The audience enjoyed themselves and the outcome was very inspiring."

As always, the Ambrose Theatre Department had a wonderful night together, and we look forward to the next one!

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