Dust off your poodle skirts, leather jackets and leg warmers: the Ultimate Oldies show is coming to Tullahoma High School.
Jamie Harden’s annual celebration of all your favorite oldies tunes will rock the THS auditorium while helping the high school theater program at 7 p.m. this Friday, March 22.
Aaron Miller, the theater arts director at THS, said this year’s Ultimate Oldies show will serve as a fundraiser for the theater department and the THS ImprovaTeers, the theatrical honor society at THS.
“This year the Ultimate Oldies approached the THS ImprovaTeers … and said, ‘We’d love to do a fundraiser with you,’” Miller said, “and we said, ‘Sure!’”
According to show founder Jamie Harden, the idea to partner with THS came from fostering community goodwill.
“We like to do a fundraiser once a year for either a school or a nonprofit, and this year I decided [since] we hadn’t done anything in Tullahoma before … I just wanted to do something in Tullahoma, and I’ve known Aaron and Terri [Miller] from theater a long time,” Harden said.
Harden added theater groups are often overlooked when it comes to funding for the arts, so he wanted to make sure the theater program at THS had some sort of financial backing.
“I wanted to do something for the arts,” Harden said.
Miller said having the long-established show come in and help the theater group raise funds to put on more productions was a great help to his program, both financially and beyond.
“Our kids get to be involved [with] putting the show together, helping to set up, running ticket sales [and] all the other stuff that goes along with it,” he said. “It’s a great experience for the kids.”
ImprovaTeers President Belle Miller agreed, saying the collaboration between the two show groups was an important lesson for her fellow young thespians.
“For us, I think it’s really a good experience to get involved with other theater programs,” Belle said. Having any collaboration between neighboring theater groups was a good thing, as well, as it promoted each group to a larger audience in the community.
Particularly with Ultimate Oldies, Belle said it was a huge help to be associate with “a big name” like theirs.
“Us hosting [the show] kind of gets us out there and gets us known,” she said.
Collaborations such as these also help foster the spirit of camaraderie between fine arts groups, Belle added.
“In theater I think it’s really important to collaborate with [other] theater programs,” she said, “because you’re all in this together, you know? You’re all going for the same thing, and it’s good to have others there that understand where you’re coming from.”
While the show itself isn’t new, Miller said the particular version of the show would be a newer concept.
“This is the first time they’re doing the ’50s, ’60s, ’70s and ’80s all in one show,” Miller said. “It’s a two-hour show with all your favorite music in those eras.”
Harden confirmed the new format for the show, saying the “unveiling” of the new show at THS was a good fit.
“Normally I just do the ’50s and ’60s or I do an ’80s show, but this is the first time we’ve done the ’50s, ’60s, ’70s and ’80s in one show,” he said. “It was a good place to unveil that.”
Even though his group goes “all over the place” its shows, Harden said debuting the new show in Coffee County was what he wanted to do.
Not only will the students get to experience the behind-the-scenes action of putting on a well-established show, they will also be a part of the show itself, according to Miller.
“We’ve been in touch with Jamie [Harden] back and forth, and they’re going to come in and run the kids through some choreography,” he said.
The students will also get to dress up in period clothing for the show, Miller added.
“They’re really excited,” he said, “and they hope everyone comes out to see the show and enjoy the music.”
Tickets for the Ultimate Oldies show are $20 each and can be purchased at www.improvateers.com. Tickets will also be available at the door, for the same price, on the night of the show.
Erin McCullough may be reached at email@example.com.