The family of late Kent State student Alex Stebbins has created a music scholarship in Stebbins’s name and will take part in the Hudson Players’ performance of “Have a Nice Day!” Friday to benefit the scholarship fund.
“Alex’s father is the director of the show and he really wanted to continue to be the director of the show, even after the tragedy happened,” said Tim Steiner, president of the Hudson Players and part of the play’s cast. “We thought it’d be a nice tribute to Alex and his family. We really wanted to do something to help.”
Stebbins passed away shortly after Christmas. He was a member of Tau Kappa Epsilon. A recent Stater article said Stebbins’s friends described him as a music lover. He was a member of the marching band, jazz band and drum line at Hudson High School.
Gary Maher, publicity chair of the Hudson Players, said Stebbins’s father, Dave Stebbins, has been a member of the Hudson Players for at least 20 years. Dave will play piano for the show, in addition to directing. He said the family has been involved with the players for a long time and Alex worked on a few shows.
Half of the proceeds from Friday night’s show will be donated to the Alex Stebbins Music Scholarship fund.
“Our hope is that we’ll sell out all 188 seats on opening night,” Maher said. “That would be around $1,100, but we’d be happy with being able to donate anything over $1,000 to the scholarship.”
The play spoofs the ‘70s band Up with People and features a fictional singing group of five people called Have A Nice Day playing their farewell tour. The group is determined to make sure no one has a gloomy day and wants everyone to smile.
“The songs are a little mix of everything from the late ‘60s and early ‘70s,” Steiner said. “We’ll be singing ‘Convoy’, ‘I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing’, ‘By the Time I Get to Phoenix’, ‘Bridge over Troubled Water’ and many more.”
Maher said the audience should recognize a lot of the older songs by famous artists such as John Denver, Cher and Simon and Garfunkel. He said the play features a lot of montages and parts of different ‘70s favorites.
The play is $14 for regular admission and $12 for students and senior citizens and will be held at the Barlow Community Center in Hudson. The doors open at 7:30 p.m. for the 8 p.m. curtain. The show will run every Friday and Saturday of February. There will be one matinee performance at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 20. Maher said they would donate half of the proceeds for Friday’s performance and after that they will continue to take donations for the Alex Stebbins Music Scholarship before and after each performance.
The audience is encouraged to dress up in ‘70s attire to bring the past alive.
Audience members are invited to Zeppe’s Bistro in Hudson after Friday’s performance to chat and relax with the cast and crew. Maher said they would have a cash bar and free appetizers.
“This is a feel-good play,” Steiner said. “There is no thinking, just come in and listen to the music. I guarantee you’ll leave humming some song you recognized.”
Contact Brooke Bower at [email protected]