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Saint Mary’s theater department prepares to present spring musical

| Thursday, January 25, 2018

Saint Mary’s College will host “Extraordinary Women: A Musical Cabaret,” from April 5-7, stage director and associate professor of theater Mark Abram-Copenhaver said.

“On Friday and Saturday, there will be an early and late show, with times to be decided,” he said.

Abram-Copenhaver said the musical follows a musical revue style, revolving around a theme with songs from a variety of composers. This year’s theme highlights the women of various musical productions.

“In a lot of musical theater, we end up with female characters whose sole purpose for being there is either to be wanted by a man, pursuing a man or something having to do with who they are relative to the male characters,” he said. “The male characters are doing something in the world, and the female characters are focused on them.”

The musical will feature a variety of songs, which will be chosen to fit the members of the cast. The musical will also have non-singing roles, performed by show’s narrators.

“What’s great about [the musical] is that it will be an evening filled with the show stopping numbers from lots of different musicals,” Abram-Copenhaver said. “We think we’re going to have somewhere between 20 to 25 songs in it. Exactly what songs depends on who auditions because we’re going to match the songs to the performers who come out.”

This year, the musical will take place in Welsh Parlor, rather than the Moreau Center for the Arts, which hosted the performances in previous years.

“All the audience will be seated at little tables as it is going to be performed in cabaret style with a small musical ensemble,” Abram-Copenhaver said. “It will be a unique experience, very different than other musicals we have done.”  

Abram-Copenhaver said the change in style from a traditional musical will give more students the chance to participate.

“We wanted to do a musical this year, and this [style] gave us the opportunity to involve the largest number of students,” he said.

The announcement of this year’s spring musical comes with the introduction of a new musical theater minor.

“We are launching a musical theater minor this year, and we wanted to promote the maximum number of students in making musical theater, [because] we know that a lot of students worked in musicals in high school,” Abram-Copenhaver said.

Abram-Copenhaver said he is excited to highlight women characters in musical theater who are more than just “sad girl[s] with crush[es].”

“One of the pieces of commentary I read said that what musicals tend to do is to take female characters and turn them into sad girls with a crush, so what this evening is going to be is everything else,” he said. “It is going to have no sad girls with a crush. It’s an evening about dreaming, and characters who are struggling, and characters who are redefining their relationships, and also characters who are being inspirational, but also characters who are being defiant … and then we have characters who are being victorious.”

Auditions will be held Jan. 30 and 31 at 7 p.m. in the Little Theater.

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