Thursday, April 11, 2013

Night of Musical Theatre creates alternative 'Mixtape'

By Rachel Diebel, A&E Writer

In previous years, there has been only one Night of Musical Theatre show at Pacific Lutheran University.
This year, students will light up the stage a second time at Mixtape: A Cabaret, a student - run night of song and dance.

The show will feature songs from many different musicals, from “Annie” to “Spring Awakening.”
The project came about during a discussion of what next year’s Night of Musical Theatre should be like. 
“It kind of came out of nowhere,” first - year Cameron Waters said.  “It just became a consensus.  Why couldn’t we do another show this year? So we just had auditions, and we cast the show.”
In keeping with the tradition of Night of Musical Theatre, the entire production is performed, directed and choreographed by PLU students. Junior Evan Hildebrand choreographed the show, junior Taylor Capellaro was assistant director and junior Cori DeVerse put on her directorial cap for the show.
“I am an acting directing major, so I took the directing class, but acting is my favorite thing to do,” DeVerse said.  “Kind of the reason I took the job and wanted it in the first place is because I could be in the show, too.”
Although students run the show, it is not any less professional than if a faculty member had directed it.
“All of our directorial staff is just so talented,” Waters said. “It’s not like you’re working with students. It’s just like you’re working with people who know what they’re doing.”
The process of putting Mixtape together was different than most other shows.
“This is one of the weirdest shows that I’ve ever done,” DeVerse said. “We did a lot of smaller rehearsals and just recently got the whole group together right after spring break.”
Even the preparation process differed from the typical experience of producing musical theatre.
“We were basically given all the music prior to spring break and we just had to learn it all ourselves,” first - year Katie Coddington said. “And then we had a full week of long rehearsals where we’re putting it all together and really solidifying blocking.”
There are lots of benefits to having a Night of Musical Theatre show in the spring as well as in the fall. 
“A lot of people come to our shows in the fall and they’re like, ‘this is so fun, I really want to be involved,’ but in the past there’s only been one show in the fall,” Coddington said. “It gives the opportunity for more people to be involved and it gives the opportunity for people to be involved that don’t really have the time to do a bigger show.”
Mixtape is an experimental production, but the cast and crew expect it to be a hit.
“Everybody is just having a really good time doing an informal show,” DeVerse said.  “It’s still gonna rock.”