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THOROUGHLY MODERN MILLIE Comes to Orange Beach Performing Arts Center in February

Performances will run February 4-6 and 11-13.

The City of Orange Beach's Expect Excellence Program, in partnership with J.F. Morris Performance LLC, will present Thoroughly Modern Millie to a regional audience in February of 2022.

Directed by Jacob F. Morris, this will be the inaugural production for the brand-new Orange Beach Performing Arts Center, a state-of-the-art 710-seat theater that offers innumerable value to the theatre community of Orange Beach, as well as the surrounding areas. Morris is thrilled to be directing the first show in this new space, stating, "I am very excited about moving to the Performing Arts Center! It is a lot more seats to fill, but it's also a more traditional type of space for the play. Millie is a high energy, huge production, and I can't imagine a better way to open the P.A.C. than with this musical".

Hailing from Akron, Ohio, Morris has a great passion for the arts. When he is not directing for his own company, J.F. Morris Performance LLC, he works as the Manager and Artistic Director at Bay Area Performing Arts, a Daphne-based company that helps over 250 students ages K-12 receive top-notch training in acting, singing, and dance. Morris' passion for the arts is evident in how he approaches directing. He adheres to Meisner techniques, stating, "I want the characters to be authentic and believable, because that's when the audience gets the most out of what they're watching. There's a difference between stepping into a character versus bringing the experiences you have as an actor to a character".

Thoroughly Modern Millie is a show that offers something for audience members of all-ages. The show follows Millie Dilmount, an young girl from Kansas with outlandish dreams of making it big in New York City. As she interacts with all of the different people that NYC has to offer, she is faced with the challenge of determining what is more important, success or love. 18-year old breakout star Emryn Rowley, from Fairhope, Alabama, will be taking on the role of Millie. "I relate to Millie because, like Millie, I have a passion for life and adventure. Millie wants to go out in the world, try new things, and make a difference, and so do I", says Rowley. From upbeat tap dances to tongue-twisting patter songs, Thoroughly Modern Millie is sure to keep audiences engaged from downbeat to bows.

While the production will take place in Orange Beach, the cast involves performers from all across the Southeast region. One of Morris' biggest goals for this show was to create a cast of people with varying experience levels to "create a very open, welcoming, and fun environment where everyone feels they can join in. We have cast members who have been on Broadway, and we have some people who this is their very first show". Diane Irwin, who previously performed in the Broadway National Tours of Fiddler on the Roof and They're Playing Our Song, is now retired and residing in the Gulf Coast area. She will be taking on the role of Mrs. Meers, a two-faced and brutal woman who is the primary antagonist of the show. When speaking about making the transition from Broadway to regional theatre, Irwin explains that "At this point in my life, I feel much more freedom to act, carry on, and create than I did when I was younger and pursuing a professional career in theatre. The talent, resources, and support this theatre company has is inspiring!".

Thoroughly Modern Millie will be running at the Orange Beach Performing Arts Center on February 4-6 and 11-13. Tickets will be $15 for reserved seating. To purchase tickets, visit http://www.orangebeachal.gov/events/performing-arts More information about J.F. Morris Performance LLC can be found at www.jacobfmorris.com.




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