LIFE@Elon begins fifth year 'Lost in the Limelight'
Elon alumnus Jared Allen '14 performed an original one-man show on Tuesday for dozens of community members enrolled in the university's lifelong education program designed for people ages 50 and older.
A graduate of Elon University’s theatre program returned to campus this week for a series of shows that introduced dozens of older adults from local communities to the history and cultural impact of American Vaudeville comedy.
Jared Allen ’14, who has worked in Missouri, New York City and Colorado since graduating, was also scheduled to meet with current students in the Department of Performing Arts.
The former Honors Fellow's one-man performances of “Lost in the Limelight,” an original production Allen himself wrote, entertained audience members in the university’s LIFE@Elon program. Now entering its fifth year, LIFE@Elon features weekly presentations conducted in an engaging format by current and retired Elon faculty and staff members and other area educators.
For Allen, the opportunity to visit and assist his alma mater from Sept. 15-17 was one not to be missed. “So many memories have already come back,” Allen said shortly after his Tuesday morning performance, the first of three scheduled for the week. “It definitely feels like home. I’m a huge fan of Elon and am excited to see how it’s expanding.”
Based on the life of a fictional character created by Charlie Chaplin, “Lost in the Limelight” brings to life the turbulent career of a lauded Vaudeville comedian of the 1920s and 30s. The original show portrays the major events of the character’s life.
As an actor, singer, saxophonist, violinist, and dancer, Allen entered Elon as an Honors Fellow but not, at first, into the theatre program. He followed his dream and after another audition was accepted into this competitive program.
For his Fellows research project, he traveled to Italy to study at the Cineteca di Bologna, where he was inspired to write “Lost in the Limelight,” in tandem with a research paper, on the decline of Vaudeville in the early 20th century.
“It’s a topic that has not been widely explored, and it needs to be,” Allen said. “(LIFE@Elon) is an excellent program for continuing education for community members, and I’d love to see more universities start these kinds of opportunities.”
Allen currently works for the Colorado Outdoor Education Center in Colorado Springs where he helps teach drama programs for a nonprofit organization focused on out-of-doors educational activities.