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Released September 18, 2002
MUW professor directs production for Dallas Children's Theater
COLUMBUS, Miss. -- Peppy Biddy, professor and director of theater at Mississippi University for Women, directed the theater production of "Alexander and the
Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day" for the Dallas Children's Theater this summer.
Originally written by Judith Viorst as a popular children's book and adapted by her into a two-act musical, "Alexander" is about a typical kid having a bad day. Biddy directs a cast of seven playing multiple roles.
After rehearsing for four weeks, the production ran for six weeks with four performances a week.
"Peppy Biddy, who directed the DCT's exhilarating 'You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown,' directs and choreographs with a light but sensitive hand," said Dallas Morning News reviewer Nancy Churnin. "Under his direction, Michael Turner makes you feel Alexander's fervent indignation.
"But Mr. Biddy never overpowers Alexander or his message, relying on imagination and mime to keep the mood whimsical, supportive and fun."
Prior to coming to The W in 1987, Biddy spent 10 years in Dallas where he was a free-lance actor, director and stage manager, and he said many of the same people working in Dallas now are the same as when he was previously there.
"I have been asked on a number of occasions to return to Dallas to direct," he said. "The first time I was able to accept one of those invitations was on my sabbatical in 1999. The timing of this project, because it was in the summer, made it possible to return."
Following the opening of "Alexander," he headed for Sundance, Utah, where he served as production manager for the Sundance Theatre Lab, which was a three-week long workshop to give theater artists the opportunity to develop their new theater works or explore new approaches to existing scripts.
Biddy was responsible for coordinating all rehearsals and overseeing the stage managers for each of the seven works Sundance presented.
With a bachelor of fine arts from the University of Mississippi and a master of fine arts from Trinity University, he also is active in the American College Theater Festival and Southeastern Conference.
Audiences have seen Biddy's work as director and actor at Dallas Theatre Center, Dallas Summer Musicals, Casa Maņana, Dallas Repertory Theatre, Theater Three and Garland Civic Theatre. Biddy will direct at New Stage in 2003 and return to Dallas to restage "Alexander."
At The W, Biddy most recently directed "Once Upon a Mattress" in spring 2002 and "Always Patsy Cline" in spring 2001. His other 20-plus productions at The W include "Mother Hicks," "Tapestry" and "All in the Timing."
The next production Biddy will direct at MUW is "Jet Set 67." He will bring in two guest artists from New York for this world premiere, conduct a workshop and then present it on the weekend of Oct. 31.
Also, he will direct "Alexander" and present it on The W campus in February 2003. Biddy will bring in a guest artist to play the lead role and then cast the other parts locally. It will be co-produced with the Columbus Arts Council as part of its Young People's Artist Series.
For more information about MUW's theater program, please contact Biddy at (662) 329-7260.
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