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Jacksonville Opera Theatre to perform ‘The Frog Prince’ with music composed by JSU professor


On January 25th and 31st, Jacksonville Opera Theatre (JOT), will be performing “The Frog Prince” by Melanie Martin Long and composed by Dr. James Woodward.

According to JOT's website it is “an adapted version of the classic Grimm Brothers fairy tale.” The January 25th show will be held in Wallace Hall in Gadsden at 3:00 p.m., and the January 31st show will be held in Oxford's Performing Arts Center at 7:00 p.m.

Originally slated to be performed in November of 2013, the show, putting a Jacksonville State University professor in the limelight, will no doubt be worth the wait.

According to Ellen Abney, an actress in the show, “The Frog Prince is about a handsome prince, who is a little too self-absorbed, acts cruelly to the wrong person,” and must find a way to handle the consequences of his actions after “being cursed to live as a frog.”

This seems to be a show for all ages, as Abney says the “audience will learn lessons about love, friendship, family, and selflessness” as the performance unfolds.

Abney will be portraying Princess Augusta, the older sister of one of the protagonists, Princess Alaina, as well as the twin sister of the story's antagonist, Antoinette.

Debra Mantua, who will be portraying Princess Alaina, says that “the audience should expect a good time, lots of laughs” and great songs throughout the show.

“Overall,” Mantua says, “it's a fun show...that everyone will enjoy.”

Dr. James Woodward, the composer of “The Frog Prince,” is a faculty member here at Jacksonville State. He is an instructor in the David L. Walters Department of Music, where he teaches classes such as Music Theory, Composition, and Aural Skills.

According to Abney, “This will be the first time this version [of the Frog Prince] has ever been fully performed.”

Abney also adds that Dr. Woodward's melodies “are like those from your favorite musicals,” and the audience will be humming or singing long after the show is over.

Ticket prices for “The Frog Prince” are $6 for children and students (with student ID), and $10 for adults. More information about the show is available on JOT's website:

To purchase tickets for the January 25th show in Gadsden, the number for Wallace Hall's box office is 256-543-ARTS or may be purchased online at

Tickets for the January 31st show, at the Performing Arts Center in Oxford, may be purchased online at

Tickets for the show may also be purchased at the door of each respective theatre.

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