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Stetson University Theatre Arts ends its 115th season with the free, online performance of The Way Things Were: A Virtual Theatrical Retrospective With First-Hand Accounts of Stetson University, DeLand and Our Corner of Florida.

The livestreamed production, directed by Dr. Ken McCoy, professor of theater arts at Stetson, is based on people and events not widely known or recognized at Stetson and in the DeLand area.

The virtual production will begin streaming at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 15, and can be viewed online through the remainder of the spring 2021 semester, which ends Wednesday, May 5. The run time is approximately one hour. The performance was edited and recorded by And You Films.

The link to view the performance is https://www2.stetson.edu/creative-arts/2021/03/the-way-things-were.

The Way Things Were is based on interviews that were collected by members of the West Volusia Historical Society’s Robert M. Conrad Educational and Research Center and materials from Stetson’s archives, historical newspapers, letters and other remembrances of DeLand residents.

Running the gamut from poignancy to protest, the actors’ performances provide virtual audiences with cherished memories and a better understanding of the place that they call home, along with providing insight on how folks can live together — whether permanently or just passing through.

“Stetson Theatre Arts doesn’t pretend to give a comprehensive history of the city of DeLand and Stetson University, or stick closely to a timeline,” said McCoy. “What we aim to do is present remembered fragments of the past and create the impression that even though the people from our past are no longer with us, their words live on.”

The cast includes Delicia Bent, Aliya Cruise, Julexis Gonzalez, Jackson Gray, Hugh Kiser, Caleb Roberts and Liza Tananbaum.


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Al Everson
Born in Virginia, Al spent his youth in Tennessee, North Carolina and Virginia, and first moved to DeLand in 1969. He graduated from Stetson University in 1971, and returned to West Volusia in 1985. Al began working for The Beacon as a stringer in 1999, contributing articles on county and municipal government and, when he left his job as the one-man news department at Radio Station WXVQ, began working at The Beacon full time.


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