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'Two Rooms' performance scheduled to dedicate ACU's Culp Theatre

For immediate release
Feb. 27, 2003

Abilene Christian University's Department of Theatre will inaugurate Culp Theatre in the new Williams Performing Arts Center with the studio premiere "Two Rooms."

The play will run Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m., with Saturday's performance serving as the dedication. Tickets for the show are $10. Call 915-674-2787 from 1-5 p.m. weekdays for tickets.

Written by Lee Blessing and directed by Jocelyn Reese, senior theatre major from Abilene, "Two Rooms" deals with a subject much in the minds of contemporary society - the taking of innocent lives by political terrorists. Love and fear are welded together as the ravages of war call out for justice, said Adam Hester, chair of the Department of Theatre.

The two rooms are a windowless cubicle in Beirut where an American hostage is being held by Arab terrorists and a room in his home in the U.S. that his wife has stripped of furniture so that she can share his ordeal symbolically. The New York Times said, "Mr. Blessing reaffirms his authority with timely political questions."

Culp Theatre, a multi-form or "black box" theatre, was named in honor of an ACU English professor of 15 years who also taught at Texas Tech and Lipscomb University.

Dr. James Culp, a 1949 graduate of Abilene Christian, taught English at ACU from 1959-67 and again from 1986-92. He also taught at Lipscomb University in Nashville, Tenn., from 1950-52 and at Texas Tech from 1967-85. Culp received master's and Ph.D. degrees from Vanderbilt University.

Culp and his wife, Clara, an accountant and auditor during her professional career, were known for their love of nature and the arts. In the classroom Culp was noted for his emphasis on quality teaching and inspiring presentations from great literature.

He was president of Texas College English Association, Conference of College Teachers of English, and Texas Joint Council of Teachers of English. He won Teacher of the Year awards from Abilene Christian in 1962 and Texas Tech in 1969. He was chair of the Department of English at ACU in 1959-67 and associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Texas Tech in 1974-84.

A graduate of Benton (Ky.) High School, Culp also served in the Army in 1942-45 in Europe.

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If you are a member of the media who would like more information about this release, please contact Wendy Kilmer, university news coordinator.

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Last Update: December 17, 2007
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