“Flames of Freedom: The Perilous Journey of an Ozarks Aviator” debuts at C of O


Media Contact: Valorie Coleman
Public Relations Director
College of the Ozarks
Point Lookout, MO 65726
Office: (417) 690-2212
Cell: (417) 365-2727
Email: [email protected]

Publish Date: 
Tuesday, October 10, 2017
Cutting edge video technology to enhance new, patriotic play

POINT LOOKOUT, MO. — College of the Ozarks theatre students debuted “Flames of Freedom: The Perilous Journey of an Ozarks Aviator,” an inspirational play based on the compelling experiences of The School of the Ozarks graduate, Lt. Earl Woodard last week. Showings take place in the Royal Oak Forum at The Keeter Center on the College campus on select dates in October and November.

Each fall, the College presents a patriotic play, based on true life stories of its graduates who have served valiantly in military combat. Two previous productions were based on dramatic retellings of American soldiers who encountered extreme challenge, heartbreak, and difficulty only to rise above it all and conquer those same challenges.

The new play follows the same dramatic lines and will shed light on the life of Lt. Woodard, a graduate from The School of the Ozarks, who became a navigator on a B-17 bomber for the Army Air Corps during World War II.

For this year’s production, cutting-edge video technology will transport the audience into the skies. Audiences will feel as though they are flying over the mountains themselves, experiencing the life of a B-17 bomber pilot.

Performances are free and open to the public. Tickets are not required; seating is first-come, first served.

The College will offer an Area Appreciation for performances: Oct. 10 and Oct. 12, 2017, at 2 p.m. in The Keeter Center’s Royal Oak Forum. The first 100 in attendance at these performances will receive a special, student-made gift from the College.

A drawing for a grand prize gift will be presented during each of these performances.

About the play

The play is based on the book, “Miracle in the Ozarks,” written by President Jerry C. Davis, and on Woodard’s own biographical documentary, “The B-17 of La Goulafriere.” It was adapted for stage and directed by Mark Young, professor of theatre.

“Flames of Freedom” is the true story of Woodard, who was shot down in occupied France. Earl, otherwise known as “Woodie,” is transported undercover to Paris, turned over to the French Resistance, and introduced to the Queen of the Pyrenees, a key player in the effort to smuggle airmen out of occupied France. Audiences will find out what happens to Woodie and his crew in the exciting conclusion of the Jones Theatre Company’s performance of this awe-inspiring, patriotic play.

Play dates

Performances are at 2 p.m. in The Keeter Center’s Royal Oak Forum. Show dates are as follows:

October 10, 12, 14, 17, 19, 24, 26, 31
November 7, 9, 11, 12, 14, 16

On Nov. 9, a 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. showing will take place in honor of Veterans Week.

Cast members

Christine: Mallory Allen, sophomore theatre major from Ava, Missouri
Vina: Annie Ashwell, freshman music theatre major from Joplin, Missouri
German 2: Alex Bequette, freshman criminal justice major from Farmington, Missouri
Gentay: Shaleen Blair, freshman music theatre major from Carthage, Missouri
Marguet: Jordan Bryant, junior vocal music education major from Pryor, Oklahoma
Rose: RosAlie Burr, sophomore music theatre major from Lead Hill, Arkansas
Mater Dei: Grace Cavin, freshman theatre major from Mulvane, Kansas
Jack: Aaron DeOrnellis, sophomore music theatre major from Springfield, Missouri
Pierre: Chandler Evans, 16, son of Tony and Heidi Evans of Nixa, Missouri
Marchette: Natasha Ferkel, sophomore studio art major from Saint Peters, Missouri
Clauterre: Jed Friedman, sophomore criminal justice major from Springfield, Missouri
Jacqueline: Hallie Harper, sophomore speech and theatre education major from Marshall, Missouri
Guillon: Natalie Hensarling, junior music theatre major from Olathe, Kansas
Rod: Zachary Hiatt, freshman biblical and theological studies major from Branson, Missouri
Earl Woodard: Isaac Houser, freshman criminal justice major from LaVale, Maryland
German Officer: Max Janssen, junior business administration major from Branson, Missouri
Dr. Good: Austin Johnson, freshman criminal justice major from St. Charles, Missouri
Yvette: Sierra Johnson, senior music theatre major from Hollister, California
Noelle: Amber Jones, sophomore speech and theatre education major from Potosi, Missouri
Joseph Ashcroft: Jonathan Kirkland, senior music theatre major from Monett, Missouri
Ed: Brett Powell, sophomore business administration major from Auburn, Kentucky
Mrs. Woodard: Miriam Richardson, junior communication arts major from Ash Grove, Missouri
Legenvre: Rina Salmon, junior theatre major from Tahlequah, Oklahoma
Nancy: Hannah Sanders, junior vocal music education major from Rogersville, Missouri
Sue: Bethanie Shepherd, freshman communication arts major from Centerton, Arkansas
German 1: Jamison VerPloeg, junior criminal justice major from Hartville, Missouri
For additional information, contact Public Relations Director Valorie Coleman at (417) 690-2212.

About College of the Ozarks

College of the Ozarks is a private, Christian, liberal arts college, located in Point Lookout, Missouri, on a 1,000-acre campus. Christian values, hard work, and financial responsibility comprise the fundamental building blocks of the “Hard Work U.” experience. The College earns numerous accolades yearly, including No. 1 Best Value Regional College in the Midwest and No. 1 Most Innovative School in the Midwest by U.S. News & World Report for 2018. To achieve its vision, the College pursues academic, vocational, Christian, patriotic, and cultural goals. These goals are mirrored in School of the Ozarks, a laboratory school that completes the K-college model.

The Keeter Center—the College’s award-winning lodge, restaurant, and conference facility—was ranked a Top Small Hotel in the U.S. by TripAdvisor for 2017. It features historic lodging, fine dining, and meeting rooms. With more than 350 student workers, it is the largest work station on campus. Follow College of the Ozarks at www.facebook.com/collegeoftheozarks or on Twitter @CofOHardWorkU.