Bethel University invites community to 5K and Broadway Showcase during Homecoming

by | Oct 18, 2023

Bethel University welcomes alumni and friends to celebrate Homecoming weekend, Oct. 20-21, on campus. Two of the weekend’s events are open to the public. These include It Takes Two: A Broadway Musical Showcase, in the Everest-Rohrer Auditorium Fri., Oct. 20 at 7:30 p.m. and Sat., Oct. 21 at 1 p.m.; and the Rise ’n Run 5k on Sat., Oct. 20 at 9 a.m.

The showcase will feature actress Jennie Sophia and Shawn Holtgren, vice president for spiritual life and community affairs, both Bethel graduates. This special, one-of-a-kind production draws from some of Jennie’s and Shawn’s favorite theatrical roles and features songs from hit shows like My Fair Lady, Phantom of the Opera, Beauty and the Beast, The Secret Garden, Frozen, Brigadoon and more! The show is free and tickets are not required.

The Rise’n Run 5k will begin at 9 a.m. Saturday, sponsored by Rise’n Roll and timed by Fleet Feet. The cost is $10 per person and registrations are accepted up to the race time. The race is open to all and wheelchairs and strollers are welcome. Sign up now at

Additional homecoming events for alumni and friends include a “Chicken Finger Friday” dinner at 5 p.m. in the Dining Commons, followed by live music and coffee at Heritage Meeting House at 8:30 p.m.

After the race on Saturday, alumni and friends are welcome to enjoy a campus tour and a Future Pilots Zone, offering activities for kids of all ages from 1-3 p.m. Alumni will enjoy free admission to the Women’s Volleyball vs. Mt. Vernon game at 3 p.m.. The game will be followed by Chili Dinner & Tailgate ($10 for supper tickets) leading up to the evening’s soccer game.

The night will include free admission for alumni to the Men’s Soccer vs. Goshen College game at 5 p.m., and conclude with a bonfire and live music at 7 p.m.

For the full schedule and registration details, visit our Homecoming page.


About Jennie Sophia

Jennie Sophia Grunseth has portrayed many iconic musical-theatre heroines, from Fiona/Brigadoon (Goodman Theatre) and Nellie Forbush/South Pacific (Broadway National tour, also Ogunquit Playhouse) to Fantine/Les Miserables (Drury Lane Oakbrook), Laurey/Oklahoma! (Marriot Lincolnshire), Guinevere/Camelot (Light Opera Works), Lilli-Kate/Kiss Me Kate (Circle Theatre), and Lily/The Secret Garden (Court Theatre). At the Lyric Opera she played Olga/The Merry Widow starring Renee Fleming. At the Chicago Shakespeare Theater she played Riley/How Can You Run with a Shell on Your Back?. Among her leading roles at Wagon Wheel Theatre have been Maria/The Sound of Music, Madge/Picnic, Laurey/Oklahoma!, Hope/Anything Goes!, and Fiona/Brigadoon to name a few. She has also appeared at the American Girl Theatre as Cornelia and Tia Dolores/Circle of Friends and the Round Barn Theatre as Belle/Beauty and the Beast, Cinderella/Cinderella, Katie and Hilda/Plain and Fancy, Lili/Carnival, and Hodel/Fiddler on the Roof. She resides in Wheaton, IL with the loves of her life Dan, Gavin, and Norman (the dog).

About Shawn Holtgren

Shawn Holtgren most recently played Lumiere in Bethel’s anniversary production of Beauty and the Beast. A few of his most memorable roles include Henry Higgins (My Fair Lady), Harold Hill (The Music Man), Atticus Finch (To Kill a Mockingbird) and Tevye (Fiddler on the Roof). When he isn’t bursting into song on stage, Shawn is spending time with his wonderful family or hanging out with Bethel students. He serves as the Vice President for Spiritual Life and University Affairs at Bethel University and Worship Arts Pastor at St. Mark Missionary Church.