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APSU Center of Excellence for Creative Arts to host “An Elegant Obsession” on September 7th

August 1, 2018 | Email This Post Print This Post

Austin Peay State University (APSU)

Austin Peay State University - APSUClarksville, TN – History and fantasy will collide into an evening of pure entertainment during the premiere performance of the musical drama, “An Elegant Obsession,” at 7:30pm on Friday, September 7th, 2018 in the Mabry Concert Hall.

This event will be hosted by the Austin Peay State University Center of Excellence for the Creative Arts (CECA), and guests with reserved seating may attend a formal reception from 5:00pm-7:00pm at 416 College Street on the night of the premiere.

“An Elegant Obsession,” to be held September 7th & 8th in the APSU Mabry Concert Hall.

“An Elegant Obsession,” to be held September 7th & 8th in the APSU Mabry Concert Hall.

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A repeat performance will take place at 7:30pm on Saturday, September 8th.

Written by Dr. George L. Mabry and Dr. Richard Gildrie, “An Elegant Obsession” is an allegorical fantasy based on the extraordinary lives of three American politicians known as “The Great Triumvirate.” By the mystical means of time travel, Daniel Webster, Henry Clay and John C. Calhoun find themselves transported to Washington, D.C., in the year 2023, where they learn of the many societal and political changes brought about by 170 years of American history.

“The trio was known for their leadership skills and willingness to compromise on the great issues facing the young republic, especially the overriding issue of slavery,” Mabry said. “When I read the impressive and dramatic speeches delivered by these three men, I knew there could be some interesting musical moments highlighting their worthy contributions to the preservation of the Union. The show is filled with lyrical tunes and folk-like melodies, Broadway-style showstoppers and inspirational songs of patriotic fervor.”

Tickets are $10.00 for general admission of children ages 18 and under, $25.00 for adult general admission and $100.00 for reserved seating and the formal reception. APSU students may attend for free with the presentation of an APSU ID and an event ticket. Proceeds will be contributed to the CECA Fund of Excellence.

Cast members include Brooke Leigh Davis as Sen. Kelsey Tate, Galen Fott as Daniel Webster, APSU alumnus Tommy Rowell as John C. Calhoun and APSU alumnus Cory Schantz as Henry Clay.

In addition to creating the script, Mabry composed the music and song lyrics for “An Elegant Obsession,” with orchestrations by APSU alumnus Paul Binkley. Mabry is the director of the event, along with Sally Welch. Mabry served as chorus director for the Nashville Symphony from 1997 to 2012, and he is emeritus professor of music at APSU. He retired from full-time teaching in 2003, after serving 33 years as director of choral activities and the first CECA director.

“One of the most important things we do at CECA is support the creation of new works of art by living artists, so I was thrilled to be involved with George Mabry’s new musical drama,” Dr. Janice Crews, CECA’s current director, said. “It was George’s idea to use the premiere to benefit CECA’s Fund of Excellence, and the money raised will help CECA continue its important mission into the future.”

This production is made possible through an Arts Project Support Grant provided by the Tennessee Arts Commission and the generous support of the official event sponsors: APSU, the Clarksville-Montgomery County Arts & Heritage Development Council, Beachaven Winery, BLF Marketing, Riverview Inn, Dee Boaz, Jim Marshall and Solie Fott. All attendees will receive a limited edition print designed by BLF Marketing partner and award-winning local artist Frank Lott.

To purchase tickets, visit or contact CECA at 931.221.7876. To become an event sponsor, contact Jerica Swiger at

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