By Savannah Bennett, Staff Writer —

Matthew Keaton, a 2016 graduate of UTC, performs in the touring Broadway production of Motown: The Musical.

“Motown” follows the life of Berry Gordy, the founder of Motown record label. Gordy also famously helped launch the careers of Michael Jackson, Diana Ross, Smokey Robinson and many others.

Keaton plays a swing in the show, so he is constantly changing costumes.

“We go around the country promoting unity, which is basically what he wanted to do back when he was creating the songs,” said Keaton. “We celebrate the songs and the outfits and his legacy.”

Keaton is originally from Memphis, but after he graduated from UTC he moved to New York to audition for “Motown”. The tour takes place all over the United States and Canada. Keaton has been touring with the show since October and until the end of June.

“Depending on the week, sometimes we sit in cities for a week. Other times will have two or three performances in a city and then will be in the next city the next day,” said Keaton.

Keaton is away from home the majority of the tour.

“It’s an adjustment because you have to live out of your suitcases, but our hotels are taken care of so the only thing we purchase is food. As long as we can eat we’re fine,” said Keaton.

Keaton graduated with a degree in communications, and, surprisingly, was not involved in theater while he was here.

He was, however, involved in many other activities on campus including, but not limited to, a member of the Black Student Alliance, president of Littleton H. Mason singers and was on the homecoming committee.

Keaton was excited to find out he would perform close to his alma mater.

“It brings back so many memories being here, it’s almost surreal because I feel like I’m still a student and I’m not. I lost my Mocs ID a long time ago,” said Keaton.

Keaton plans to do more shows after “Motown” concludes. He wants to start auditioning again and move on to his next adventure, but he is enjoying the time he is performing in “Motown” while he can.

“My favorite part about ‘Motown’ is just spending time with all lot of different artists. We’re all very talented and it’s great to be around that kind of energy,” said Keaton.

While “Motown: The Musical” has already made its stop in Chattanooga, tour dates and ticket information can be found at


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