BY CATHERINE HINES – STAFF WRITER
Next week marks the premiere of DramaCentre’s musical production, Assassins, written by Stephen Sondheim.
Dr. Patrick Kagan-Moore, Charles T. Hazelrigg Professor of Dramatic Arts, is directing the production, alongside Dr. Jaemi Loeb as Musical Director, Rebecca Stephenson as Dance Instructor, and Professor Matthew Hallock as Scenic and Lighting Designer.
The cast and crew have worked hard for several months to make the show a success. The greatest challenge has been the massive size of the project.
“We do one musical every four years, and it’s about at this stage of the process we remember why,” Professor Hallock said. “It’s exhausting. There are so many moving parts between acting rehearsals, music rehearsals, dance calls, costumes, scenery, etc., that sometimes we can get a little lost keeping track of it all.”
The large gap between musicals also adds to the excitement among performers.
“This is one of the few times any of the cast and crew has had the opportunity to work with members of various organizations around campus, including orchestra, choir, drama, and dance,” first year Brennen Amonett said. Amonett is starring in Assassins as Lee Harvey Oswald.
Due to the content of this production, as it centers on presidential assassinations (including those only attempted), the performes have thought extensively on the message being told in the musical. Sophomore Emma Hoenemeyer, who is in the chorus, said she has “learned a lot about what motivated people and why they do what they do.”
Even the musicians have noticed this element. “The music enhances the meaning of the messages conveyed by the cast. For example, where sarcasm may not be evident, the music provides the clues,” sophomore pit orchestra member, Benjamin Finch, said. Finch will be playing three different saxophones, as well as three clarinets, in the pit.
Senior Tory Parker, portraying anarchist Emma Goldman, is interested in the production’s take on history.
“I’m an aspiring American historian,” she said, “and while this show takes more than ten times its fair share of creative liberties, it’s a fun to do a show about American history, even the horrible parts. The events and people we sing about are things I’ve been studying for years, they’re things I care a lot about, and it’s so painfully liberal arts that they’re now a part of theatre life.”
“I think we are all having a lot of fun. Even through frustrating moments, I’ve found that the cast and out stage management teams are able to make things funny, if not very fun,” junior Emilie O’Connor, who plays Sara Jane Moore, said.
The atmosphere seems to be taking the edge off the production team. Though the expectations are high for everyone involved, performers are excited about the show and are sure to bring their A-game.
“No one wants this show to be good more that the people involved,” Parker said.
Photos from rehearsals can be viewed below.
The musical will run Wednesday April 20 through Saturday April 23 at 8 p.m. in Weisiger Theater. The performances will be a convocation credit.