Pellissippi State musical lecture pokes fun at the economy

The country’s economic situation may be enough to make you want to cry, but those involved in the first presentation of the 2012-13 Faculty Lecture Series at Pellissippi State Community College hope you’ll laugh, or at least snicker, at “Economics: the Musical.”

The musical, the first of its genre in the series, is Sept. 20, 12:30-1:30 p.m., in the Clayton Performing Arts Center on the Hardin Valley Campus. The community is invited to the free event.

Based on the recent financial crisis, the witty script by Tyra Barrett, an associate professor of the Business Administration degree program, puts an entertaining spin on our current economic woes.

The musical presentation calls upon the talents of faculty and students to poke fun at all aspects of our financial condition—from a spoof of the Julie Andrews classic “My Favorite Things,” sung by a member of “The One Percent” (a reference to America’s wealthiest), to a ukulele concert by Occupy Wall Street “protestors.”

Even “Ben Bernanke” will be there, singing “The Liquidity Trap Song” to the tune of Elvis Presley’s “Suspicious Minds.” The audience will be supplied with a program containing the words to the songs and definitions of economic concepts, so they won’t miss a single innuendo.

“I wanted to do something really different,” said Barrett. “People asked why the financial meltdown happened. It was predicted for years. We had bankers and investors with their fingers in their ears. What I’ve tried to do with the production is explain what led up to the crisis and where it has left us. The audience will be treated to a musical and an economics lesson, too!”

Robyn James, violist and Music adjunct faculty member, assisted Barrett in writing the arrangements for the production. James has collaborated musically with several local musicians, including the popular band The Dirty Guv’nahs. She also writes the arrangements for her own group, The Robyn James Trio.

The Faculty Lecture Series showcases the expertise of Pellissippi State faculty. The next lecture is “The Greatest Story Never Told,” by Donn King, associate professor of Liberal Arts. It takes place on Oct. 11, 12:30-1:30 p.m., in the Goins Building Auditorium on the Hardin Valley Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road.

For details on the economics musical, email Tyra Barrett at For more information about the Faculty Lecture Series, call Pellissippi State at (865) 694-6400.

To request accommodations for a disability, contact the executive director of Human Resources and Affirmative Action for Pellissippi State, (865) 694-6607 or