AUBURN, Ala. – The Auburn University Theatre Department will present their first performance of “Big Fish” tonight on the Telfair Peet Theatre’s Main Stage.

The musical is based on Daniel Wallace’s 1998 novel and Tim Burton’s 2003 film of the same title. “Big Fish” tells the story of Edward Bloom, a traveling salesman from Alabama, and his son Will, who struggles to understand the truth of his father’s life stories.  

“This show resonates with audiences young and old as it speaks to the power of stories…those we tell to others and those we tell ourselves,” said director Chase Bringardner. “It speaks to the importance of family and the connections we make as we traverse the journeys of life. It tells a decidedly Southern tale – fantastical and big but with a whole lot of heart.”

The theatre department’s current season focuses on celebrating the bicentennial of Alabama. This unique musical not only embraces Alabama’s storytelling culture, but it also has ties to the Auburn community. Though it is rare for musical theatre to feature collegiate settings, a pivotal scene in “Big Fish” takes place outside of Samford Lawn.

“Big Fish” also welcomes back Auburn Theatre Department Alum Ben Strickland in the starring role of Edward Bloom. Strickland graduated in 2017 and has since experienced success in Atlanta, performing in shows such as “Mamma Mia” and “The Hunchback of Notre Dame”. 

“‘Big Fish’ is truly a big show,” said Bringardner. “We have a cast and crew and orchestra of over 50 Auburn students and community members.”

The artistic team for “Big Fish” includes direction by Dr. Charles Bringardner, music direction by Dr. Elizabeth Benson and Jamie Mablin, choreography by Jeri Dickey, costume design by Tracy Oleinick, scenic and lighting design by Fereshteh Rostampour, projection design by Fereshteh Rostapour and AU student Devin Stephens, wig design by AU Student Jessi Rogers, and guest sound design by Anthony Narciso. The cast includes: Nikki Ahlf, Ashleigh Avalone, Diontae Black, London Carlisle, Tyler Carter, Bobby Coe, Sarah Beth Cumella, Ashley Digiovanni, Allison Dixon, Noel Dudley, Emma Fox, Jordan Gomberg, Hudson Hubbard, Grant Lackey, Holden Mathison, Zac Moss, Addison Peacock, Jessi Rogers, Lexi Scarbrough, Benjamin Strickland, Ebony Strong, Jackson Whiting, Falan-Buie Madden, Kimberly Vanderwall, Lauren Vedder, Jenna Viana, Sam Washburn, Jackson Wells, Jackson Whiting, and Olivia Zeagler.

Performances will run from Feb. 14 to Feb. 24. You can find more information on tickets and dates here.