News Story

NSU Stars in the Summer Series Features Four Friends

Daniel Woodworth

Kristin Tilley

Kim Hurt

Alyson Howell

TAHLEQUAH – Finding a place to showcase their talent is just one of the great things about performing in Northeastern State University’s Stars in the Summer Series for some of this year’s talent. It’s also a chance for them to work with their best friends.

Best friends Daniel Woodworth and Kristin Tilley, both of Siloam Springs, Ark., are appearing together in River City Players, while best friends Kim Hurt, of Colcord, and Alyson Howell, of Muskogee, light up the stage at Downtown Country.

We met three years ago, our sophomore year of high school,” said Woodworth of Tilley. “I’ve always tried to get Kris to understand that she can stand on her own two feet. But when she refuses to accept that, I’ll always be there to help her.

Woodward and Tilley discovered the magic of River City Players at last year’s Riverhawk Rally, where students have a chance to tour NSU and meet with faculty and staff. The two met Robin Pursley, River City Players director, and decided to audition for the River City Players.

I was drawn to River City because even in pictures there’s so much energy,” said Woodworth. “It’s not an incredibly serious show, but it’s a lot of fun. I’ll definitely come back next year.

As for their attitudes towards the rest of the cast, Woodworth and Tilley have nothing but respect and adoration for the cast and crew.

I love the people,” said Tilley. “If you’re having a bad day, these are definitely the type of people to pick you right back up.

Downtown Country veterans Kim Hurt and Alyson Howell bring their own flair to the stage. After meeting during auditions for Downtown Country 2006, the two didn’t immediately connect.

It’s a funny story, we actually hated each other when we first met,” said Hurt. “Now we’re best friends and roommates.

Growing up with musical families, the two eventually fell in love with performing. Both performers chose Downtown Country because they admit to being a little bit country and not the least bit rock ‘n’ roll.

Kim is the pageant girl, very put together,” said Howell. “She can walk in heels like nobody’s business and she’s so graceful in everything she does onstage.

For Hurt and Howell, Downtown County has improved their confidence and brought them closer as friends. The two agree that Downtown Country brings to Tahlequah Branson-style shows that are worthy of an audience.

People go to Branson to see shows that they can see here,” said Hurt. “I honestly believe that if they come once, they’ll come every year.

The NSU Stars in the Summer Series features two shows from the River City Players. “Twist and Shout” this summer to the sounds of Motown to the craze of the British Invasion, or travel back to the 1950s with the River City Players in “Rock Around the Clock” and bop to the beat of Elvis, sway to the sounds of the Shirelles, and dream, dream, dream along with the Everly Brothers.

Twist and Shout” runs Thursdays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and “Rock Around the Clock” plays Fridays at 7:30 p.m. and Saturdays at 2 p.m. River City Players will perform at the Shawnee Street Theater, located on the corner of Downing Street and College Avenue.

Downtown Country also presents two shows this summer. “Rhinestone Country” brings to Tahlequah all the glitz and glam of Tinseltown, while “Country Roots” pays tribute to legendary stars such as Jimmie Rodgers, the Carter Family and Bob Wills.

Downtown Country performances are at the NSU Playhouse located at the corner of Downing and Muskogee. Show times for “Rhinestone Country” are Thursdays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. Show times for “Country Roots” are Fridays at 7:30 p.m. and Saturdays at 2 p.m.

The 2008 Stars in the Summer Series is sponsored by the Tahlequah Area Tourism Council. Tickets prices are $12 for adults, $10 for NSU alumni and employees, $8 for seniors and groups of 20 or more, and $6 for students and children. A special $1 discount is available for all June shows. To reserve tickets, call (918) 458-2075.

For more information on the NSU Stars n the Summer Series, visit


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