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Press Release



September 24, 2014


Cowley College’s theatre program Joins with Blue Star Theatres, offering discounted and free tickets to performances


blue starsThe theatre program at Cowley County Community College has been named a University Affiliate member of the Blue Star Theatres program, and is introducing discounted and free tickets to active duty and transitioning military personnel, their immediate families, and veterans. The new discounts will be offered beginning on October 1st, 2014 when tickets for Little Shop of Horrors go on sale, and will be offered on all four Cowley Theatre shows throughout the year.

Blue Star Theatres is a collaborative effort of Theatre Communications Group and the Washington D.C.-based non-profit Blue Star Families, with leadership support from the MetLife Foundation. The program seeks to connect theatre offerings to military personnel across the country, helping service people and their families seeking integration into the lives of their communities. Each participating Blue Star Theatre agrees to offer discounted or complimentary admission to all military personnel and their families, as well as veterans. The program, which launched in 2012 with twenty-two theatres, has grown to well over one hundred participating organizations across the country.  The Cowley Theatre program is only the second in Kansas, one of only a handful of participating colleges throughout the country, and is currently the first and only college in the nation to join based specifically around its student theatre offerings.

“Cowley has a long-standing tradition of dedication to our armed services,” said John Sefel, Cowley’s Director of Theatre Programming. “Between McConnell, Vance, and Reservist centers throughout our area, we wanted to a way to acknowledge and thank the work of those who serve our country, and the very real challenges and sacrifices they and their families are asked to make every day.”

According to Sefel, Blue Star Theatres provides just such an opportunity. Eligible audience members will receive 20% off all full-priced tickets for all main and second stage Cowley Theatre performances, as well as free admission to the college’s annual Children’s Show. The Blue Star discount is available to all active duty or transitioning military personnel, the immediate family members of active duty or transitioning personnel, and to veterans of any branch of the United States Military or Department of Homeland Security. Eligible patrons are asked to identify themselves as a “Blue Star patron” when ordering tickets.

“I come from a military family, was born on a military base, and experienced much of the ‘military family’ lifestyle,” Sefel said. “It can be tough to fit in—it’s hard to connect with events in the community, and even harder to afford them. We know this effort doesn’t solve those problems—but we hope it at least makes things a little easier, and maybe provides one more voice that says ‘we care’.”

The Blue Star discount is being added just in time for Cowley Theatre’s 2014-2015 season, which will begin with the popular musical Little Shop of Horrors on October 30, 31, and Nov 1, followed by a children’s theatre production of The Velveteen Rabbit. The group will return in the spring with a new adaptation of the classic farce Charley’s Aunt, and will end the season with the comedy-drama Leaving Iowa. All performances will be held in the Robert Brown Theatre, located at Cowley College’s flagship campus in Arkansas City, Kansas. Tickets are available at the door, or by calling the box office at 620-441-5570.

All four shows will feature the work of Cowley students, both onstage and behind the scenes. More information about the season, Cowley’s theatre program, and the Blue Star Theatre program may be found via the college’s website, through the theatre program’s social networking pages, or by contacting Sefel. Local businesses interested in advertising or sponsorship opportunities are encouraged to contact John Sefel for further details.