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‘A Heartbeat to Baghdad' proceeds to establish scholarship at APSU

When famed playwright Glyn OMalleys newest work, A Heartbeat to Baghdad, debuts at Austin Peay this weekend, donations taken at the door will go toward establishing the Sgt. Ariel Rico Memorial Scholarship, which has been designated for children of the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) and other Fort Campbell units, who lost a parent in Iraq.

The staged reading of A Heartbeat to Baghdad will begin at 7 p.m., Saturday, July 3 in Trahern Theatre. Closed-circuit televisions will be set up in the lobby for the expected overflow crowd.
When famed playwright Glyn O'Malley's newest work, “A Heartbeat to Baghdad,” debuts at Austin Peay this weekend, donations taken at the door will go toward establishing the Sgt. Ariel Rico Memorial Scholarship, which has been designated for children of the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) and other Fort Campbell units, who lost a parent in Iraq.

The staged reading of “A Heartbeat to Baghdad” will begin at 7 p.m., Saturday, July 3 in Trahern Theatre. Closed-circuit televisions will be set up in the lobby for the expected overflow crowd.

Dr. Sara Gotcher, associate professor of theatre, says, “This Saturday night for the world premier of ‘A Heartbeat to Baghdad,' we will accept donations to the fund as opposed to selling tickets.

“We suggest that the minimum donation should be $25 per person.”

Gotcher says that, after the presentation of “A Heartbeat to Baghdad,” O'Malley will come on stage and answer audience questions and also encourage additional support for the scholarship.

In addition to Saturday night's donations, Gotcher says, “Glyn has promised to donate a percentage of his royalties, in perpetuity, for the life of the play.”

But will “A Heartbeat to Baghdad” have a life after APSU? After sitting in on several of O'Malley's interviews, interviewing him and attending a rehearsal, Rebecca Bain, executive producer of National Public Radio, Nashville, thinks it will. In an e-mail to the playwright, she predicts it eventually will be seen on Broadway.

A feature segment about O'Malley's “A Heartbeat to Baghdad” will air on NPR at 6:35 a.m. and 8:35 a.m., Thursday, July 1a time when, according to Bain, “the audience is huge.”
—Dennie Burke