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Student Production ''Butterflies Are Free'' Opens Feb. 24 in Johnson

Quick Facts

 Leonard Gershe's "Butterflies Are Free" will run Feb- 24-28 in Johnson Studio Theatre.
 Directed by theatre student Shannon Plowden, the play features an all-student cast.

David Hutto and Sydney Moore lead an
all-student cast in "Butterflies Are Free."

ROCK HILL, S.C. - New romance, misconceptions about people labeled as disabled and the struggle for connection and independence all collide in "Butterflies Are Free," a student-directed and student-acted play opening Feb. 24.

The comedic play, written by American playwright/screenwriter Leonard Gershe, will run Feb. 24-27 at 8 p.m. and Feb. 28 at 2 p.m. in Johnson Studio Theatre. "Butterflies Are Free" depicts the tentative romance developing between Don Baker (David Hutto of Orangeburg, S.C.), a blind man living on his own for the first time, and Jill Tanner (Sydney Moore of Goose Creek, S.C.), Don's independent and free-spirited new next-door neighbor. Rounding out the all-student cast are Courtney Williams (Sumter, S.C.) and Norman Burt (Greenville, S.C.).

Student director Shannon Plowden worked with a seven-student production team and theatre faculty members Janet Gray and Andrew Vorder Bruegge to bring "Butterflies Are Free" to the Johnson stage. The theatre major from West Union, S.C., said she wants theatregoers to see the play as both a "beautiful love story between two people" and a commentary on how society mistakenly views people who are disabled.

"The show highlights our society's misconceptions about the abilities (or lack thereof) of those we label as 'disabled.' Even though the script was written and set in the 1960s, the misconceptions about Don's blindness still hold true today," said Plowden.

Seating is limited, and no late seating will be permitted after performances begin. Tickets for the Feb. 24-25 performances are $5 with Winthrop I.D. and $10 for the general public, while tickets for the Feb. 26-28 shows cost $8/Winthrop I.D. and $15/general public.

Contact the box office at 803/323-4014 or for tickets.

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