Business Faculty Learn 'How To Succeed' on Stage

for immediate release Oct. 20, 1997

Think of it as a live version of the "Where's Waldo?" cartoon strip. You might be able to catch Abilene Christian University business professors on stage when the Homecoming Musical, "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying," is performed Oct. 24-26 at the Abilene Civic Center.

Dr. Jack Griggs ('64), dean of the College of Business Administration, thought it would be great fun to include the business professors in the musical and "give them a chance to use the right side of their brains."

Director Steven Pounders ('86), assistant professor of theatre, said Griggs showed up to the auditions dressed as a student and proposed the idea, which was eagerly adopted.

"We're not sure yet what scene they will appear in or even who will actually participate," Pounders said. "We want to keep it as simple as possible with only one or two rehearsals." Hum, sounds like he wants them to succeed in show business without really trying!

So, instead of Waldo, look closely for characters with names such as Jack, Bill or Don.

"I saw the play on tour in Dallas last summer and it was delightful, very light and humourous," Griggs said. "I thought it would be fun making undetected Alfred Hitchcock-type appearances, and a great spoof to be inconspicuous and not noticed. Our faculty is just a fun group. There is always some kind of practical joke going on over here. We are all looking forward to it, and we do even have a couple with talent."

"We don't want to detract from the great young talent and their opportunity to perform in a very professional setting," Griggs said. "If it contributes to the atmosphere, we want to do it."

"How To Succeed..." won the 1995 Tony award for Matthew Broderick in his Broadway portrayal of J. Pierrepont Finch, who will be played in ACU's version by theatre major Ryan Swearingen. With music and lyrics by Frank Loesser ("Guys and Dolls"), it's a simple story of a young man who climbs to a position of great power and of the loyal girl who eventually wins him. In this hilarious satire on the "The Company Man," Finch's success is due not to hard work but by following the simple rules in a book called "How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying."

Griggs points out that his professors are also still the unchallenged faculty champions of the ACU intramural rodeo.

"Since we have conquered the tough athletic world, we are now ready to move on to another area," he said. "You know business people are naturally very acquiring."

If you are a member of the media who would like more information about this release, please contact Malissa Endsley, director of media relations, at or call 915-674-2692.

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Last update: October 28, 1997