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.

How to audition

The auditions for the spring musical are in a few days! To warm us all up and to give the auditioners an idea of what to expect, Mount Union’s Department of Theatre hosted a master class on how to audition. It was a really cool event. We had a woman there, Lindsey, who Kevin Kern met … Read more

The auditions for the spring musical are in a few days! To warm us all up and to give the auditioners an idea of what to expect, Mount Union’s Department of Theatre hosted a master class on how to audition.

It was a really cool event. We had a woman there, Lindsey, who Kevin Kern met during a summer show. She demonstrated a song and a monologue and went through the motions of auditioning.

Here’s what we learned:

1. Treat your accompanist with respect. Accompanists, for whatever reason, get a certain amount of disrespect in some vocal settings. That’s not cool, ever.

2. Dress appropriately. You should look more like you’re ready for a job interview than having just come straight from the gym.

3. Walk in with confidence. If a director sees a confident person walk across the stage, he knows that’s someone he can trust with a part.

4. Introduce yourself. There is no need to introduce the piece you’ll perform. The director will likely figure it out.

5. Act the song you sing! A director isn’t only looking for vocal talent; he/she wants to know you can act!

6. Avoid character voices. The director wants to hear YOUR voice.

7. Try to avoid picking Sondheim and other difficult pieces. If the accompanist messes up, you look bad. Always.

8. Never say, “Oh I have a cold.” All it sounds like is excuses, excuses, excuses.  A director will be able to tell if you were sick recently.

9. Politely say thank you at the end of your audition and leave as confidently as you entered.

That’s how to audition!

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!

There’s no place like theatre…

There’s no place like theatre…

Read more

Well, we just wrapped up a performance at Rodman Theatre. Under the direction of Rudy Roggenkamp, the theatre department presented Almost, Maine. So many people love love loved the show, and I have to say. It was great.

I was stage manager, and I couldn’t have been more proud to be a part of that show. We had some incredible freshman actors, Megan Ostrofsky and Tyler Portner, who acted brilliantly. New-to-the-stage Savanna Lancaster was a hit, especially with the very last scene. And last but certainly not least, Alex Wolfe gave another hit performance. Each actor had to portray several different characters, so there was a TON of work put into this show.

The play was about 19 different people experiencing falling in or out of love. The idea was that all 8 stories happened at the same time on a Friday night under the northern lights. It was really well received by the audience—I know several people who came back to see the show again.

If you ever hear of a performance of Almost, Maine, go see it.

Of the things that happened on stage, my personal favorite was the northern lights effect. I wouldn’t be sad if that special effects machine were to get stolen and end up in my room somehow… ;)

Kidding…

But my favorite part of the theatre department at Mount Union is the family-like atmosphere off-stage. It’s amazing the friendships you can create within 6 weeks when everyone starts out as strangers.

There’s just something about being a part of something greater, and coming together to create a quality production. We can all be goofy, laughing college kids and snap within a second to being serious actors and crew.

Then, we all go to the director’s house and eat. Lots of food, lots of fun. It’s kind of like a big family dinner, and always a great capstone to a show.

If you’ve never been a part of a show, definitely do it at least once. And don’t think there is only one way to be involved in a play. I’ve tried out for plays here and gotten leads and small roles, and I’ve had shows where I didn’t get cast. So, I find other ways of being involved. I stage manage, and in the past I’ve helped make costumes. But there’s also crewing, making scenery, box office—whatever you can think of.

There are so many opportunities available, and so many memories to be made. Theatre: Just do it.

‘Drive’ Movie Review

‘Drive’ Movie Review

Read more

This past weekend, the University showed the movie Drive starring Ryan Gosling (the guy from the Notebook) at the Mount Union Theatre. This movie was made after the book, so I am assuming the book is better than the movie. I never actually read the book, but when are movies ever better than the book?

In the beginning of this movie, it felt like a 80s movie because of the font used and the music. The first scene had the driver, Gosling, driving a get away car for two robbers, so I once again assumed this movie was similar to the Transporter trilogy with Jason Statham, an action guy. It wasn’t. The Transporter trilogy is known for incredible action scenes where as this movie is more of a pure story line.

The majority of the beginning of the movie was just like the beginning of most movies. It was an introductory to the characters, who they are, what they do and why they are important to the movie. The driver was a silent man and an anti-hero type character with a sweet jacket. He lives in an apartment and he starts spending time with a young woman and her son. When her husband is released from jail is when the movie starts to get much more interesting.

This movie isn’t a typical American movie, probably because the director isn’t American, but that’s beside the point. It was much more about appreciating the story of the movie rather than ACTION, ACTION, ACTION!!! There was good driving, guns and blood, but that wasn’t the point of the movie, which is why I think some of my friends didn’t like the movie. The soundtrack of the movie was quite interesting as well.

I would recommend this movie to my friends who appreciate movies. I wouldn’t recommend this to my friends that don’t know a good movie when they see one. It’s modern and unpredictable. It’s got love and money, the simplest subject in most movies, yet it is still one of a kind.