Opening night

Opening night of Company was last night! It was incredible, to start with. It’s a fantastic show that takes a lot of talent to pull off, and I personally think the show was a great success. I’m so ready to have 6 more performances. The thing I really thought was special, though, was director Kevin … Read more

Opening night of Company was last night!

It was incredible, to start with. It’s a fantastic show that takes a lot of talent to pull off, and I personally think the show was a great success. I’m so ready to have 6 more performances.

The thing I really thought was special, though, was director Kevin Kern‘s pre-show speech.

He opened with a favorite quote of his, which I’m going to paraphrase:

“Until someone has participated in a cause larger than themselves, they can never be truly whole.”

I think that’s so true. Being part of something greater than yourself is the most rewarding thing anyone can do. I think there’s a certain kind of completion that can only come from something you achieve with others.

A large part of my arts experience here at Mount Union has been all about collaboration. Because of that mindset, I’ve accomplished a lot of things (both in and out of the art world) and I am grateful that our art departments teach that way.

Kevin then talked about truly appreciating the moment of the show. He said to leave all our energy on stage. And that’s true. When you give an awesome performance, you should leave the stage utterly exhausted.

He quoted Vince Lombardi next:

“I firmly believe that any man’s finest hour, the greatest fulfillment of all that he holds dear, is that moment when he has worked his heart out in a good cause and lies exhausted on the field of battle – victorious.”

Being part of the play is fulfilling our passions. For some of the cast, it will be a profession someday. But all of us are really passionate about theatre. And Kevin made the point that there are people all over the world who wish they could do what we do on that stage. So we owe it to ourselves, to each other and to everyone else out there to do the very best we can, and love every minute of it.

Finally, Kevin recommended sitting on the stage for a minute after the show. After the costumes and make up come off, after the audience has cleared out–but before venturing out to see the crowd. Just to take a minute and sit on the field of victory and cherish the moment.

So that’s what I did, and I know a couple other cast members did. And Kevin and Lombardi were right. There is nothing quite so sweet as a moment of appreciating what you’ve just accomplished.

The show is coming, the show is coming!

I’m starting to get so excited; the musical Company is just a week away! We just started putting light cues together last night at rehearsal. It made for an interesting rehearsal. Usually they’re called cue-to-cue rehearsals, because we’re literally acting from light cue to light cue. That means we’re freezing wherever there’s supposed to be … Read more

I’m starting to get so excited; the musical Company is just a week away!

We just started putting light cues together last night at rehearsal. It made for an interesting rehearsal. Usually they’re called cue-to-cue rehearsals, because we’re literally acting from light cue to light cue. That means we’re freezing wherever there’s supposed to be a change in the lights.

It’s really a cool process. I appreciate that our Department of Theatre professors are professional and very good at what they do. It’s because of lights, sounds, staging, and costumes that our shows consistently look fabulous.

The show is really starting to come together too. Everything is memorized and show-ready, and every night we improve things in the show—even when it already seems like we can’t improve much more!

The curtains are hung, the props are all ready. We’re performing with a darkened audience and lights and a pit band. We’re ready.

This is going to be a fabulous show. I can’t stop talking about it to people—which is why I’m blogging about it :)

Seriously, if you want to see one of the coolest musicals Mount Union has put on stage, come see the musical! Plus, it’s the last one ever being performed in Rodman Playhouse! Of course we’re going to go out with a bang!

The show is April 4-6, 11-13 at 7:30 p.m. and April 7 at 2 p.m. To order tickets, call (330) 821-2565.

Music for the show

Let’s talk about the pit band for a minute here. We’ve been working on Company for weeks now, with the vocal music director Ian LeRoy. He’s a junior music performance major, and he’s been doing an excellent job. Come see the show, and you’ll know what I’m talking about. The first thing you’re going to hear … Read more

Let’s talk about the pit band for a minute here.

We’ve been working on Company for weeks now, with the vocal music director Ian LeRoy. He’s a junior music performance major, and he’s been doing an excellent job.

Come see the show, and you’ll know what I’m talking about. The first thing you’re going to hear is an a capella bit that leads to a cluster chord–basically, a lot of notes at the same time. It’ll make you shiver it’s so good.

So acting, check. Vocals, check. What we needed was the band.

And they are sounding pretty incredible. With everything from two pianists, a ‘cello, trumpets, and more, we are gonna have such an amazing sound for this performance.

I think the only relatively difficult thing thus far has been nailing down the times. But now we’re golden.

Here’s some things to listen for, voally and instrumentally:

1. The opening of the show. It’s just jaw-dropping.

2. The girlfriends’ trio. Their voices are gorgeous and complement each other very well.

3. The sax in the opening of The Ladies Who Lunch scene. Junior Ian Bell :)

4. Anything the husbands sing together.

5. The end of Someone is Waiting and Sorry Grateful. Senior Kenny Leep and junior Jesse Phillips are going to make every girl in the room fall in love with them.

6. Another Hundred People by freshman Erin Bell

(PS, have I mentioned that all the other girls in the show besides me are freshmen? Such a talented freshman class, holy wow!)

Just wanted to give you a couple things to look forward to :) Come see the show!

The show is April 4-6, 11-13 at 8 p.m. and Sunday April 7 at 2 p.m. at Rodman Playhouse

Bobby baby

Bobby. Bobby. Bobby baby. The first music rehearsal for Company was last night, and we began to learn the title song of the show. It’s the most difficult song in the show. (This recording starts the song at 6 minutes 50 seconds) The song is trying to simulate the mothering, incessant phone calls of Bobby’s … Read more

Bobby. Bobby. Bobby baby.

The first music rehearsal for Company was last night, and we began to learn the title song of the show. It’s the most difficult song in the show. (This recording starts the song at 6 minutes 50 seconds)

The song is trying to simulate the mothering, incessant phone calls of Bobby’s friends. They are always calling him and wanting to hang out, asking for favors, etc. To illustrate this, there are a lot of times when people are singing over one another, and sometimes people are literally jumping into the song.

It’s AWESOME.

The song is this entire cacophony of sound as the different characters chime in with “Bobbys,” “Bobby Darlings” and invitations to dinners, shows, whatever.

Another thing that’s prominent is a minor third (if you sing the first two notes of the national anthem, you have a minor third, for example).

Cool fact, the minor third is called the “Mother Interval.” For whatever reason, in every culture without fail, the minor third is the first interval an infant hears. Think of how your mom says your name when she’s trying to get your attention—it’s a minor third.

“Bobby” is sung over and over on this interval, and it represents the way Bobby’s friends “mom” him. Sondheim, the composer of Company, is a genius.

The cast of the musical includes 6 men and 8 women, all of whom are extremely talented musicians and actors. This show is seriously gonna be so good.

We’re actually going to do all the notes and all the harmonies. Some of the Broadway cast recordings available have a slightly watered down version of the song.

The song we worked on last night is just one of the many amazing songs in Company. This musical is going to test everyone’s musical ability, and it will be such an intense production.

April 4-6, 11-13 at 8 p.m., and April 7 at 2 p.m. in Rodman Playhouse.

It’s up.

It’s up.

After a week of stressing out, warming up and winding down, the cast list for Company has finally been posted. Monday and Tuesday of this week were auditions. Everyone had to prepare 32 bars of music and a one minute monologue. Wednesday the callbacks list was posted, and Thursday was callbacks. And today, oh beautiful … Read more

After a week of stressing out, warming up and winding down, the cast list for Company has finally been posted.

Cast List

Monday and Tuesday of this week were auditions. Everyone had to prepare 32 bars of music and a one minute monologue.

Wednesday the callbacks list was posted, and Thursday was callbacks.

And today, oh beautiful waited-for day, the cast list was posted.

Trying out for a show is a pretty thrilling experience, and I wonder if it looks silly to the outsider.

We were all definitely frantically finding 32 bars of music that adequately showed off our voices, and a monologue that showed we can act. Some people were even frantically memorizing their monologues an hour before auditions!

Then, there’s this shuffle of excitement to see the callback list. I always have this image in my head of the scene from Patch Adams where all the med students cram around the posted paper to see their grade.

For callbacks, auditioners are given a specific song to sing, depending on what part they’re being considered for. So everyone with a callback essentially has 30 hours or so to learn a Sondheim song. No easy feat, but it was pretty fun.

Then, it’s just a matter of waiting. Waiting, innocently walking past the board every half hour or so to see if the list is up. Or if you’re like me, you’re sitting in a class you can’t skip waiting for a text message.

When you receive two little words, you know your fate is officially sealed:

“It’s up.”

So the cast has officially been announced for the spring musical, and we’re about to embark on a semester-long journey of singing, acting and having an awesome time.

Come see the show! April 4, 5, 6, 11, 12 and 13 at 8 p.m., and a 2:30 matinee on April 7.

Company’s coming!

Every other year, Mount Union’s Department of Theatre puts on a musical in the spring. The fall typically consists of two smaller-cast shows, and the spring features a huge show. They do plays and musicals every other year. My theory is so they can feature both actors and singers each spring. The musical in the spring … Read more

Every other year, Mount Union’s Department of Theatre puts on a musical in the spring.

The fall typically consists of two smaller-cast shows, and the spring features a huge show. They do plays and musicals every other year. My theory is so they can feature both actors and singers each spring.

The musical in the spring will be Company by Steven Sondheim.

First of all, holy crap Steven Sondheim. He is literally in his own category for musicals. If you look at musical theatre grad schools, they say to be prepared for modern musicals, 20s musicals, rock, Latin etc., …. and Sondheim.

The music is difficult and powerful. The rhythms are hard and the text is harder. A Sondheim show requires the best pool of talent a school can provide.

So this is going to be awesome.

Not to mention we have a new director, Kevin Kern. He, and the actors in the show, did a FANTASTIC job with Servant of Two Masters this fall, so I can’t wait to see what he does with Company.

We’re also having an audition master class when we come back from Christmas Break. We’re going to learn from people who audition all the time so we can put our best foot forward come audition time. Go Kevin!

We have such amazing actors and actresses here at Mount Union, and we have some phenomenal singers. This is going to be huge.

Keep the first two weekends in April clear on your calendar!