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Bethany College Presents “The Spitfire Grill” as Part of the Messiah Festival of the Arts


By Bethany College


LINDSBORG, Kan. — Bethany College proudly announces the upcoming production of “The Spitfire Grill,” a soul-stirring musical that promises to captivate audiences with its touching narrative and unique bluegrass-infused orchestration. Scheduled to enthrall audiences in three performances Feb. 16, 17, and 18 in the newly renovated Burnett Auditorium, the show brings together a talented cast of Bethany students under the direction of Jester Award-winning set designer and director, Eric Johnson.

Mandy Todd ‘05, pit orchestra director, shares her enthusiasm for the distinctive musical arrangement featuring fiddles, mandolin, guitar, and accordion. “This pit orchestra is one of the most unique instrumentations I have directed,” says Todd. “I am so excited to work with these fine musicians who will provide a vibrant tonal color to this spirited show. It feels great to be back at Bethany, this time on the other side of the music stand!”

Leslie Mangrum, Assistant Professor of Music at Bethany College and the musical director of the production, praises the dedication and talent of Bethany students. “You won’t want to miss this touching production of ‘The Spitfire Grill.’ I couldn’t be prouder of our talented students, whose dedication has shaped this production into something truly magical,” Mangrum exclaims.

“The Spitfire Grill” follows the journey of Percy Talbott, a determined young woman seeking a fresh start in a small Wisconsin town after her release from prison. The musical, recognized by the American Academy of Arts and Letters with the Richard Rodgers Production Award in 2001, has garnered praise for its emotionally soaring score and engaging narrative.

The Spitfire Grill” features a talented cast of Bethany students, each bringing their unique skills and passion to breathe life into the characters. The cast includes Aubrey Larson, a junior from Russell, KS, majoring in Music Teaching/Vocal/Pre-K-12; Ella McNett, a freshman from Larned, KS, pursuing Music Teaching/Vocal/Pre-K-12; Gracelyn Gaskill, a senior from Lindsborg, KS, studying Chemistry and Music Liberal Arts; Elyse Boden, a senior from Goessel, KS, majoring in Music Teaching/Vocal/Pre-K-12; Coleson Reinecker, a freshman from Inman, KS, focusing on Music Teaching/Vocal/Pre-K-12; and Riley Nickel, a sophomore from Andale, KS, specializing in Music/Performance.

  • Dates and Times: Feb. 16 and 17 at 7:30 pm, Feb. 18 at 2:30 pm.
  • Venue: Burnett Auditorium, Bethany College, Lindsborg, KS.
  • Tickets: $20 for adults, $10 for students.
  • Ticket Purchase:

Join Bethany College in celebrating the arts and supporting the remarkable talent of its students. Experience the magic of “The Spitfire Grill” as it unfolds on the stage, promising an evening of heartwarming storytelling and exceptional musicality.

Bethany College, established by Swedish Lutheran immigrants in 1881, is a college of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. The mission of Bethany College is to educate, develop, and challenge individuals to reach for truth and excellence as they lead lives of faith, learning, and service. At Bethany, students join a community of dedicated educators and caring mentors who walk alongside them as they discover, explore, and navigate the path to their purpose. Bethany College is on the Web at and is located in Lindsborg, Kansas, the fine arts and crafts capital of the state.