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Nicole Rader named to alumni position at Tusculum College

Posted on 20 September 2017 by

Nicole Rader has been named director of alumni engagement for Tusculum College.

Rader, a 2017 graduate of Tusculum College, began serving in this new capacity on Aug. 28. She comes to Tusculum having served as the resource development coordinator and webmaster for Holston United Methodist Home for Children, also in Greeneville. While at Holston Home, Rader managed fund development, alumni relations, special events and community relations as well as supported the organization’s website.

Additionally, Rader serves as auxiliary assistant chief of the Greeneville Police Department.

Nicole Rader

“We are thrilled to have Nicole join the advancement team, and in particular the alumni relations department at Tusculum College. Nicole will be working with all aspects of our alumni program and is already making a valuable contribution,” said Heather Patchett, vice president for Institutional Advancement at Tusculum College.

In her new role, Rader will be responsible for leading efforts to engage alumni in the life and work of Tusculum College through giving, volunteering and attending alumni events. She will provide leadership for increasing alumni participation in giving, for organizing reunions and will provide support for the Alumni Executive board.

“I am excited to be part of the success that is happening at Tusculum College,” said Rader. “It’s a good fit for my skills and provides an opportunity to serve the community that I call home.”

In addition to her bachelor’s degree from Tusculum College, Rader holds an associate degree from Walters State Community College.


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Tusculum College “Rocks the Vote”

Posted on 19 September 2017 by

As a Civic Arts institution, Tusculum College’s mission is to engage the community and to encourage students to become engaged citizens of the world. To support this mission, the Tusculum College Rock the Vote event will provide avenues for students and members of the community to register to vote.

The event will be held on September 18-21.

“The day after the 2016 election, I walked into a class full of freshmen students who were upset about the results,” said Dr. Michael Bodary, associate professor of English and one of the organizers of the event. “I asked for a show of hands for how many people had voted: only two out of sixteen students had bothered. You’ve got two options: you either get the government you voted for or you get the government you didn’t vote for.”

On Monday, Sept.18, there will be a showing of the movie “Recount” at 7 p.m. It will take place at the Behan Arena Theatre with a discussion about polling and statistics by Shannon Brewer, assistant professor of mathematics. There will be (all-American) apple pie. This will count as an arts and lecture credit event for residential students.

Recount” is a film focusing on the 2000 United States Presidential election, specifically the Bush v. Gore case that took place over the controversial Florida recount. Starring Kevin Spacey, “Recount” explores the drama surrounding one of the most controversial presidential elections in U.S. history.

Students in Greeneville can register to vote Monday through Wednesday from 11 a.m.

Students in Morristown or Knoxville can register to vote at the Morristown or Knoxville sites on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday from 5-8:15 p.m.

For international students, there will be a separate mock election where these students can cast their vote for a US candidate to understand the difference between the two groups as well as providing an international perspective.

Registered student voters can participate in a repeat of the 2016 election, voting between Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton or Gary Johnson.



By Sydney McCallister, freshman English and History major from Greeneville


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Tusculum College nursing program officials pleased with accreditation visit

Posted on 19 September 2017 by

Three representatives of the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education visited the Tusculum College campus on Monday, Sept. 11, to conduct an on-site visit of the graduate programs in nursing – the Master of Science in nursing and the post master’s degree certificate in nursing.

The CCNE representatives met with Dr. Lois Ewen, dean of the school of nursing, health sciences and human services; Dr. Nancy B. Moody, president of the college; Steve Gehret, vice president of finance and CFO; Dr. Jason Pierce, vice president of academic affairs; Dr. Linda Garret, assistant dean of nursing, health sciences and human services and chair of the graduate program; the nursing faculty, and the advisory council for the MSN program. The group also met with several students currently in the graduate nursing program and visited clinical teaching sites.

The visit concluded with the reading of the group’s report which stated that Tusculum was found to be in compliance with all four standards upon which the programs were reviewed and the Tusculum program will be recommended for accreditation. Final accreditation will not be conferred until the report is reviewed by the CCNE Board. The college expects to be notified of the final decision in May 2018.

According to Dr. Ewen, the reviewers were extremely impressed with the physical facilities and complimentary of the resources allocated for the nursing program. They were also complimentary of the clinical sites and preceptors available for Tusculum student clinical experiences.

“Their meetings with students in the program went extremely well,” said Dr. Ewen, “including discussions with students in the post masters certification program.”

Dr. Ewen added, “I am also pleased to announce that this fall we have a total of 49 students in the Bachelor of Science in nursing program with a new class to be admitted in January. In the Master of Science in nursing program, we have eight continuing students who, assuming their success in coursework, will be in the first graduating class in December.”

In addition, there were 31 students admitted into the MSN program this fall.


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Tusculum College’s Center for Civic Advancement and Tusculum View Elementary School form partnership

Posted on 15 September 2017 by

Providing resources, programs and support are the focus points of a partnership agreement signed by Tusculum College’s Center for Civic Advancement and Tusculum View Elementary School.

The partnership agreement became official on Friday, Sept. 15, at a signing ceremony at Tusculum View Elementary School.  The agreement was established for one year, after which time it will be evaluated and considered for renewal.

According to Dr. Lisa Johnson, associate vice president for student success and assistant professor of education, “This partnership is an example of how common goals can be met when schools and civic/community groups, school groups, or businesses collaborate, and it will provide wonderful opportunities for the students at Tusculum View.”

Objectives of the partnership are to support Tusculum View’s academic programs, Tiger Time and Extended School programs. The partnership will result in Tusculum College providing college students to assist, interact and provide programs that meet the needs of the students, faculty of Tusculum View as well as meet the mission of Tusculum College.

According to Tusculum View Principal Deanna Martin, Tusculum View Elementary School will provide Tusculum’s CCA staff areas of need that can be targeted through the partnership. Tusculum College representatives, which may include faculty, staff and students will provide additional enrichment to programming for the various programs offered by Tusculum View Elementary.

The mission of Tusculum’s Center for Civic Advancement is to engage the heart, mind, and soul of Tusculum through cultivating awareness of self and of others. The CCA aspires to do this through the establishment of meaningful relationships with our local, national, and global communities.

From left sitting, Dr. Ronda Gentry, Deanna Martin and Dr. Nancy B. Moody. Standing, from left, are Gabi Stayton, Simon Holt and Brin Ferguson

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Tusculum’s Doak House Museum to host Fennel Harvest Party

Posted on 15 September 2017 by

Tusculum College’s Doak House Museum will be hosting a Fennel Harvest Party free to the community on Friday, Sept. 22.

Dollie Boyd, director of museums at Tusculum College, has an unusually large crop of fennel seeds that are currently ready for harvest. Because of this, a Fennel Harvest Party will be held on September 22, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Doak House Museum.

The herb bed where the fennel grows is managed by volunteers from the East Side Garden Club.

The party will include the making and serving of fennel tea and sample treats made with these savory little seeds, as well as an educational experience that allows potential herb lovers to learn the benefits of this easy-to-grow plant.

“People always ask me what can be done with fennel,” said Dollie Boyd, “this is your chance to not only find out, but have some fun while you’re at it.” The event is free to the community and participants will be welcome to take home recipes and seeds.

Guests are also invited to stay for Pickin’ at the Doaks, the monthly old-time music jam session beginning at 6 p.m. Call the Doak House Museum at 423-636-8554 for more information. You may also contact Dollie Boyd directly at




By Sydney McCallister, freshman English and history major from Greeneville

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Tusculum College grant available for high school dual enrollment program

Posted on 12 September 2017 by

Students who have already taken or who will complete two dual enrollment courses through Tusculum College are now eligible for additional financial assistance of up to $400 with the help of the Tusculum Access Grant offered through the college.

“Through the Tusculum Access Grant, high school students may take additional dual enrollment courses, earning college credit while in high school, with no out-of-pocket tuition expenses,” said Dr. Blair Henley, vice president of information systems at Tusculum College. “This program is open to any high school student in Tennessee.”

There are a wide variety of courses and course options available for high school students seeking to advance their academic careers or study specific topics. All courses in the dual enrollment program are offered online for the convenience of high school students’ schedules.

According to Dr. Henley, the TAG grant will help to cover the $400 gap in state funding and is available for students who are eligible. Eligibility for dual enrollment starts the summer before a student’s junior year in high school and forward. Individuals must maintain a 3.0 grade point average in their dual enrollment course work.

Through the dual enrollment program at Tusculum College, students can earn both high school and college credit in a variety of courses such as English, math, history, sociology, art history, computer science, religion, and speech.

While the Tusculum Access Grant is for students seeking to take their third or fourth dual enrollment course at Tusculum College, for others interested in the program there may be other financial assistance available. According to Dr. Henley, teHo-date, almost 400 students have received college credit through the Tusculum College dual enrollment program.

For more information about the new program or to apply, please visit Individuals may also call 423-636-7349 or email to learn more about the program.


By Sydney McCallister, freshaman history and English major from Greeneville, TN


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Wind advisory in effect for Tusculum area

Posted on 11 September 2017 by

From the National Weather Service – A wind advisory remains in effect from 2 p.m. EDT on Monday, Sept. 11, through 11 a.m. EDT on Tuesday, Sept. 12.

Expect north to northeasterly winds between 15 and 30 mph with gusts of 40 to 45 mph across East Tennessee and southwest Virginia. The windy conditions may down trees, branches and power lines.

A wind advisory means that winds of 26 to 39 mph and/or gusts of 40 to 57 mph are expected or occurring. Winds this strong can make driving difficult especially for high profile vehicles (vehicles with a high center of gravity.) Use extra caution and travel only if necessary. While on campus, avoid parking under trees if at all possible.

It is not expected at this time that there will be any changes to the Tusculum College schedule at any campus or site. However, please follow your Pioneer Alerts and Tusculum email for updates.


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Tusculum College sees record-breaking year with new students

Posted on 08 September 2017 by

Tusculum College reached a historic milestone with the entrance of its 2017-2018 residential student class, with 405 new students, an increase of 7.1 percent over the 2016-2017 academic year new student enrollment. This is also the highest number in recorded history for an entering class.

The registration total was announced by Dr. Paul Pinckley, vice president for marketing and enrollment management for Tusculum College, who said that the number includes 299 entering freshmen, 78 transfer students and 28 new international students.

“Tusculum College’s residential program continues to grow for a number of reasons,” said Dr. Pinckley. “We have implemented a focused, personal follow-up program by our strong admissions team. We have also added two athletics teams, track and field and STUNT, which have boosted enrollment, and we believe we have a strong marketing message directed at those students we identify to be a good fit at Tusculum College.”

Tusculum College, which has a tradition of reaching out to first-generation college students, did so again, with 140 of the fall entering class listed as first-generation college students.

Of the new students in this year’s entering class, 203 are from the State of Tennessee, and 174 are from outside the state. Thirty-four of the new students are from Greene County, which is about 10 percent of the entering class. According to Dr. Pinckley, the new students on average received $15,000 in institutional aid, which includes scholarships and grants specifically awarded by Tusculum College. Academic scholarships awarded by the college to students in this year’s entering class range from $500 to $12,000.

He added that the large entering class produced a residence halls occupancy rate which is slightly above 100 percent. While all students are now housed on campus, the first few weeks of school required off-campus housing for a few students. “Having at or over capacity housing is a good problem to have. It makes for lively student activities, full stands at athletic events and creates a better environment for students as more students are involved in campus activities,” he said.

He added that the college will continue to recruit new students and is still accepting applications and registrations for students who will be able to start classes in January, the beginning of the spring semester.

“We are reassured that students and their parents are realizing that even in difficult economic times, an education is a valuable investment, and we are pleased that so many of those families have chosen Tusculum College as a place where they feel confident their student can be successful,” said Dr. Pinckley.

Graduate and Professional Studies fall graduate enrollment is also up, with 99 students enrolled, up 37.5 percent over Fall 2016.


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Tusculum College, Appalachian Community Federal Credit Union strengthening partnership with installation of virtual teller machine on campus

Posted on 05 September 2017 by

Tusculum College and Appalachian Community Federal Credit Union continue to strengthen their partnership with the installation of a virtual teller machine on the Greeneville campus.

The virtual teller machine was unveiled during a ceremony Tuesday by officials from Tusculum and ACFCU. The partnership between the college and ACFCU began last fall and initially focused on the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program. ACFCU helped fund Tusculum’s adoption of the program, overseen by longtime VITA expert Dr. Harold Branstrator, associate professor of management at the college

By April, that partnership had resulted in more than 600 taxpayers receiving free, high-quality tax return preparation. Additionally, more than 20 Tusculum students had gained valuable experience and been exposed to ACFCU and its mission to serve low and moderate-income people and communities. One of those students, Craig Cutler, who graduated in May, now works full-time in the credit union’s accounting department.

“The Appalachian Community Federal Credit Union has provided valuable real-world experience for Tusculum students who participated in the VITA program as well as giving them an opportunity to give back,” said Dr. Nancy B. Moody, president of the college. “We share a common mission with the credit union to strengthen the communities we serve and improve the quality of life for the people of this region. The partnership is a natural progression of this shared mission, and we appreciate the willingness of ACFCU to continue to work with us to provide both educational and service opportunities to Tusculum students.”

Recognizing these similarities in their missions, ACFCU and Tusculum leaders met in the spring and summer to discuss deepening the partnership. Dr. Michael Dillon, dean of the School of Business and Technology at Tusculum, proposed expanding the relationship by adding a minor in tax, while ACFCU CEO Ron Scott suggested adding courses that would train Tusculum students to teach financial literacy.

ACFCU also provided an additional financial pledge to Tusculum to help offset costs of the deepening partnership. The first physical symbol of the partnership, the new Virtual Teller Machine, anchors what could become a full-fledged financial learning laboratory at the college.

“While it’s just one part of a much deeper partnership with Tusculum, we believe the VTM will be a tremendous asset for students, faculty and staff of Tusculum,” said ACFCU CEO Ron Scott. “It provides a convenient, full array of financial services from a trustworthy partner that is dedicated to financial literacy and reaching underserved communities, something we believe dovetails well with Tusculum’s mission.”

The VTM, located in the new Ronald H. and Verna June Meen Center for Science and Math on campus, is the third that Appalachian Community Federal Credit Union has installed this year. The VTM provides ACFCU members (membership is open to the entire Tusculum family and their family members) can do virtually anything at the VTM that they can accomplish in a brick and mortar financial center. This includes deposits, loan applications, withdrawals and much more.

Dr. Nancy B. Moody, president of Tusculum College and Ron Scott, CEO of Appalachian Community Federal Credit Union, were on hand to celebrate the expansion of their partnership with the installation of a virtual teller machine in the new Ronald H. and Verna June Meen Center for Science and Math.

Scott said ACFCU is also looking forward to the tremendous learning opportunities the VTM and other elements of the partnership will provide to Tusculum’s business programs, service learning component and other college departments.  “We’re thrilled that Dr. Moody and Dr. Dillon with his strong leadership of the business department have embraced ACFCU and this innovative aspect of our partnership,” Scott said.

Dr. Moody concurred. “We are excited to see how our partnership with ACFCU can grow and provide our students with valuable learning experiences in the ever-changing world of finance as well as help them grow to be good citizens through service in such projects as VITA,” she said.

ACFCU leaders hope the credit union can provide resources for Tusculum to grow its business and service learning opportunities in ways that reflect its focus on social responsibility. “Individuals and families in our region face many financial challenges,” Scott said. “ACFCU specializes in helping people make wise financial decisions, build their credit and gain access to fair, non-predatory lending options. We’ve been pleased to discover Tusculum’s similar commitment to social justice and thrilled at the college’s receptivity to working together in ways that can advance both our missions and uplift the region.”


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Two new department chairs named

Posted on 22 August 2017 by

Two new department chairs have been named in the Tusculum College School of Arts and Sciences beginning with the 2017-2018 academic year. Dr. Debra McGinn has been appointed Chair of the Department of Natural Sciences, and Professor Shannon Brewer has been appointed chair of the Department of Mathematics.

Dr. McGinn has taught biology at Tusculum since 2004. She practiced medicine as an anatomic and clinical pathologist in hospitals in the Tri-Cities and Knoxville for 15 years. Prior to moving to East Tennessee, she completed pathology residencies at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and Washington University Medical Center (Barnes Hospital, St. Louis, Missouri).

“Dr. McGinn is known to spend hours upon hours with her students outside of class,” said Wayne Thomas, Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences. “I’ve a list of recent Tusculum biology alumni as long as my arm that includes the graduate schools they’re attending and the careers they’ve begun.” Dr. McGinn’s academic regalia is adorned with Golden Lantern after Golden Lantern, pins graduating students present to the one professor they believe has made the most significant impact during their years at Tusculum.

“She is, put simply, one of the best teachers we have, and I’m excited to get to work with her in her new leadership role,” said Thomas

Dr. McGinn earned her bachelor’s degree in medical lab sciences at the University of Illinois, a master’s degree in microbiology at the University of Michigan, and M.D. degree at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, and Master of Arts degree in secondary education biology and mathematics at ETSU.

Dr. McGinn resides in Kingsport with her husband, Michael, who works as an industrial hygienist at Eastman Chemical Company.  They have two sons, Andrew and Christopher, and a daughter, Elizabeth.  Together they enjoy the adventures of six grandchildren.  Dr. McGinn has taught Sunday School classes for over 25 years, plays alto saxophone in the Kingsport Community Band, and currently parents three foster children.

Professor Brewer has been with Tusculum since 2009. She earned her Bachelor of Science and master’s Degree in mathematics at East Tennessee State University. Her research specialized in Graph Theory. She is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in curriculum, instruction, and the science of learning with a concentration in math education from the University of Buffalo.

“Professor Brewer has a reputation of wanting to help her students,” said Thomas. “In their end-of-course surveys, students often comment on her willingness to be there for them. Professor Brewer is student-centered and a team player. I am incredibly eager to see mathematics move forward under her leadership.”

In addition to her work at Tusculum, Professor Brewer also volunteers her time to work with students and teachers in surrounding area high schools. She has been the site coordinator for the Tennessee Mathematics Teachers Association for more than 10 years, which includes a yearly mathematics contest in six different subject areas. She has personally created tests that are used by thousands of students for this contest statewide. This annual contest brings around 200 of the area’s best math students to Tusculum’s campus.

Professor Brewer is a proud wife and mother of three daughters that she home-schools with her husband. She is passionately involved in Christian ministries throughout Northeast Tennessee, including being a camp director for Camp Greene. Being born and raised in Greene County, she has dedicated her career towards bettering the education and lives of those she serves.


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Tusculum to be host site for interfaith storytelling program

Posted on 18 August 2017 by

Tusculum College will be a host site for Appalachian Storybridge to Peace’s Interfaith Conference and Workshop on Friday, Sept. 15.

The Tusculum event will feature Muslim storyteller Arif Choudhury and Jewish storyteller Noa Baum and will be held in the Behan Arena Theatre in the Annie Hogan Fine Arts Building on the Greeneville campus from 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m.

“We live in a world where we are no longer isolated from one another,” said Dr. Ronda Gentry, director of the Center for Civic Advancement at Tusculum College. “It’s important that we take time to learn from one another. When we do this, we may discover we have more in common than we thought.”

She added that the intent of the event is to promote understanding and an atmosphere of learning between persons of differing faiths. The idea for this conference came from the United Religious Initiative, which aims to bring people together and learn from one another.

Choudhury is a storyteller, filmmaker, theater artist and standup comic. He performs “More in Common than You Think,” his one-person program of stories for schools, libraries, conferences and festivals around the country and abroad. He tells humorous stories of growing up in one of the few Bangladeshi-Muslim immigrant families in Chicago.

Baum is an award-winning storyteller, educator and public speaker performing internationally with diverse audiences ranging from the World Bank and universities and congregations, to festivals, government agencies, schools, and detention centers.

Born and raised in Jerusalem, Noa offers a unique combination of performance art and practical workshops that focus on the power of stories to heal across the divides of identity and build bridges for peace.

The event is free and open to the public; however, reservations are strongly encouraged as seating space is limited. Reservations may be made at

In addition to Tusculum College, three other locations will participate in the event, including the Holston Valley Unitarian Church in Johnson City, the Jonesborough International Storytelling Center and East Tennessee State University.


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Auditions set Aug. 28-30 for Theatre-at-Tusculum’s production of Lionel Bart’s musical ‘Oliver!’

Posted on 18 August 2017 by

Theatre-at-Tusculum will have auditions Aug. 28-30 for its annual fall musical directed by Marilyn duBrisk. This year duBrisk and her creative team will be bringing the classic musical “Oliver!” to the stage.

Auditions will be held Monday, Aug. 28 and Tuesday, Aug. 29 at 6 p.m. for the senior cast (ninth grade through adult) and Wednesday, Aug. 30 at 4 p.m. for the junior cast (third through eighth grade). Registration for auditions will begin 30 minutes prior to the listed audition times for each date.

All auditions will take place in the auditorium of the Annie Hogan Byrd Fine Arts Building on the Tusculum College campus. Auditions will consist of singing, choreography, and readings from the show’s script. No prepared audition pieces are required. Callbacks will take place as needed on Thursday, Aug. 31 at 6 p.m.

Performances are scheduled for Nov. 10-12 and 16-19. Rehearsals will take place during the fall on Monday evenings from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. and on Tuesday, and Thursday evenings from 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. with some Sunday afternoons scheduled. Rehearsals begin with a cast call on Sunday, Sept. 3 at 2 p.m. and a tentative rehearsal schedule will be posted during auditions.

The production team is looking to compile a cast of approximately 60 men, women and children for the production. Those wishing to audition should be prepared to list any scheduling conflicts between Sept. 3 and the performance dates during registration.

The musical, which is based on the Charles Dickens classic novel Oliver Twist, centers on the poor, orphan boy Oliver as he becomes entangled in a group of pickpockets and villains in 19th century London. The show was an instant hit after it premiered on the West End in London in 1960. It ran for over 2,500 performances, and featured Ron Moody as Fagin who later reprised the role for the 1968 motion picture adaptation, which won six Academy Awards including Best Picture.

“Oliver!” premiered on Broadway in 1963 and was a critical success and received ten Tony Award nominations, including Best Musical, Best Actor in a Musical, Best Actress in a Musical and Best Featured Actor in a Musical. It won the awards for Best Scenic Design, Best Original Score and Best Music Direction. Memorable songs from the show include: “Food, Glorious Food,” “Where is Love?,” “Consider Yourself,” “I’d Do Anything” and “As Long As He Needs Me.”

Roles include Oliver Twist, a lonely orphan boy; Fagin, a conniving career criminal who takes in homeless boys and teaches them to pick pockets for him; Nancy, a tragic heroine who takes a liking to Oliver and helps look after Fagin’s Pickpockets; Mr. Brownlow, Oliver’s grandfather; Bill Sikes, Nancy’s brutal and abusive lover and burglar; Mr. Bumble, the pompous beadle of the orphanage workhouse; The Artful Dodger, the cleverest of Fagin’s pickpockets; Mr. and Mrs. Sowerberry, the insensitive couple who take in Oliver and use him in their funeral business; Mrs. Corney, the matron of the orphanage workhouse, and several others.

For “Oliver!”, duBrisk has assembled a production staff, including Brian Ricker as assistant director, Angie Clendenon as musical director, Kim Berry as choreographer and Kasie Shelnutt as accompanist.

For more information regarding auditions or to see a full character breakdown, please visit the Arts Outreach website at, Tusculum College Arts Outreach on Facebook or call 423-798-1620.

Costume Director Erin Schultz; Assistant Director Brian Ricker and Director Marilyn duBrisk, from left, discuss costuming for Theatre-at-Tusculum's production of “Oliver!” Auditions begin on Aug. 28 with the show opening on Nov. 10.



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