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Behind the Scenes of Handel's Messiah

By Rachel Bender | November 15, 2012

Joyful Noise runs Nov. 16-18 and Nov. 29—Dec. 2.

"A beautiful and moving journey with a gorgeous score of truly divine music." That is how guest director Ailish Riggs describes the upcoming production of Joyful Noise, set to open on the Regent University stage on Friday, Nov. 16.

Joyful Noise runs Nov. 16-18 and Nov. 29—Dec. 2. Purchase tickets from the Box Office.

The off-Broadway hit exposes the backstage drama surrounding the creation of Handel's Messiah. This true story reveals how the composer's masterpiece of redemption was born in the midst of jealousy, opposition and sabotage.

Generally, theatre productions at Regent are directed by university faculty; however, the opportunity to work with a guest director allows Regent theatre students to take a new approach to their roles in the show.

"Our students have been blessed by her unique perspective in the classroom and the rehearsal," said Scott Hayes, chair of the Theatre Department. "I believe we've been able to bless her as well by providing a faith-friendly and professionally minded workplace and student body for her to direct and teach."

Riggs' directing work comes to a production she hopes will get audiences in the holiday spirit while also asking them to pause and consider their own faith.

"It is a wonderful combination of drama and humor that allows us to witness the joy and sorrow of the human experience," Riggs explained. "[It] beautifully illustrates how God's grace is present, even when we have turned away from Him." Riggs is a director, actor and vocal coach currently on the faculty of Old Dominion University. She also serves as dialect coach and artistic mentor for the Emerging Artists Ensemble at the Virginia Stage Company. She graduated from the University of San Francisco with a B.A. in Performing Arts and Social Justice and holds an MFA from the National Theatre Conservatory.

Purchase tickets from the Box Office.


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