Moultrie Observer

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July 21, 2007

Play dedicated to slain teen

MOULTRIE — “Who else would love him still. When they’ve been used so ill? He knows I always will. As long as he needs me,” sings Nancy, a character who is brutally murdered by her boyfriend in Lionel Bart’s “Oliver!”

The words also hold poignant meaning for those who remember Jennifer Ann Crecente.

Crecente, spending the summer in Moultrie with her father, played a young pickpocket in the Colquitt County Arts Center’s production of “Oliver!” nine years ago.

On Feb. 15, 2006, at the age of 18, Crecente was shot to death in her home town of Austin, Texas. An ex-boyfriend, Justin Crabbe, is charged with murder in her death.

Crabbe is scheduled to be in court Friday. The Travis County District Attorney’s Office said Crabbe will forgo his upcoming trial, according to the website of KVUE, an Austin television station, which hinted at a plea agreement. The DA’s office declined to discuss that possibility.

On the very same day, the Arts Center Theatre will begin another production of “Oliver!” Each performance will be dedicated to Crecente’s memory.

Performance dates are July 27 at 7 p.m., July 28 at 10 a.m., Aug. 4 at 7 p.m. and Aug. 5 at 2 p.m. The July 28 show will be followed by lunch with the cast for a small additional charge. All performances will be held at the Arts Center’s Wright Auditorium. Contact the Arts Center at 985-1922 for ticket information.

Crecente will have a real presence at the performances. First of all, as the play-goers arrive, they’ll pass a bench donated to the Arts Center in her honor by Jennifer Ann’s Group, an organization her father started in her memory. In September of last year, the bench was placed under a tree that is adjacent to the main entrance of the Arts Center facing the Wright Auditorium.

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