World Premiere of New Musical, Rise


St. Davids, PA, November 4, 2015: Eastern University Theater presents the world premiere of a new musical, Rise. Performances run Thursday, November 12 through Saturday, November 14, 2015 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, November 15 at 3 p.m. in McInnis Auditorium on the St.Davids campus. Tickets are $10 general admission, $8 for children and seniors, and free admission for students with a valid Eastern University ID. Advance tickets can be purchased online at

Inspired by the story of the two disciples walking on the road to Emmaus in Luke 24:13-35, Rise tells the story of two sisters who travel a journey of grief after the death of their father and discover new life along the way.

Rise travels from the crowded streets of her beloved New York City, to an unfamiliar redwood tree forest in Santa Cruz, California desperate to sell the cabin her late father left as her inheritance. Once she arrives, she finds her estranged younger sister and a peculiar community living a different kind of life on the property. As Rise moves forward with the sale of the cabin, details are revealed about her father that challenge everything she's believed about her past. With a new perspective on her life, Rise is pushed to seek a power greater than herself to know what she must do about her inheritance.

Jenny Tibbels, Director of Theater for Eastern University, says, “It’s a really exciting story that’s been crafted by many hearts and minds; over 30 current students, alumni, and faculty have been involved in the creation of this piece. We began by looking at a really specific story, The Road to Emmaus, as source inspiration. But from there we’ve branched off into other places, and it’s become something new. I feel like it’s a story about how we as a community can come together with our stories and our hearts, to be a part of one another’s healing, and affect one another’s journeys. To see young people dedicated to singing and dancing and acting—some of them for the first time—because they care that people see art that brings hope, because they want to be part of a community that expresses God’s love, makes what I do every day worth it all. I really hope a lot of people get a chance to come and see the beauty and wonder of what we’ve made!”

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See the preview on YouTube at:

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About Eastern University Theater
Eastern University Theater provides students with an opportunity to learn and grow artistically through rigorous coursework and collaborative training. The program is designed for students with varying levels of experience who want to try something new or continue honing their craft at an advanced level of training through the Theater Minor. Students who participate in Theater courses or productions develop skills in self-expression, communication, and collaboration, preparing them for success in a range of fields. The goals of the Theater Program are to: provide students with quality theater education, develop the spiritual lives of students through theater making, prepare students for graduate training and/or employment in the theater professions as artistic leaders, and to engage students with the larger theater community of neighboring educational institutions and the professional theater industry in Philadelphia. Visit us online!

Book by: Edgar Mendoza
Lyrics by: Rebecca Coppola and Joelle Doriani
Music by: Dennis Atkinson, Joelle Doriani, Steven Ford, Gregory Silverman
Direction by: Jenny Tibbels
Music direction by: Teresa Moyer
Assistant music direction: Kat Bowman
Choreography by: Stephen Welsh and Caroline Butcher
Production management: Gabby Wright
Stage management: Ethan Pierson
Scenic design: Stephen Wiseley
Lighting design: Eric Baker
Costume design: Millie Hiibel
Graphic design: Lauren Borgersen and May Wang
Starring: Sevag Bakalian, Alayna Edinger, Meg Gleason, Caitlyn Hinkle, Olivia Jacabella, Brent Liebman, Jared Maier, Casey McGinty, Kathryn Notley, Kayla Peebles, Emily Putiri, Katarina Rorstrom, Rachael Rule, Rachel Sparks, Alex Younger, and Randy Way

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