by Josiah Lerman
As the cast of Guys and Dolls rehearses for the upcoming show, professors note the progress of the Musical Theatre program and its valuable addition to the overall curriculum at JPCatholic.
The program offers four full productions a year including both popular and obscure shows. Dr. Robert Giracello, the musical director for Guys and Dolls, explains, “actors need a resume, and they need to show that they’ve been in products of stature and products that people recognize.”
Even though the productions are geared toward the formation of actors, Giracello “imagine[s] that anyone who auditions is going to get a crack at being in these plays, and that’s part of the fun, too.”
Rehearsals are usually up to five nights a week for musical productions. Because of the heavy work load, musicals count as six-credit courses. The regular plays, like the upcoming Midsummer Night’s Dream, will remain three-credit courses.
Angie Bitsko, director of the musicals, says that their ultimate “goal is for the actors to be marketable.” The acting curriculum forms career-oriented actors, and the musicals unite the different disciplines of acting, singing, and dancing, making actors “triple threat[s].” In this way, the plays compliment the acting core classes and will work alongside the new Musical Theater emphasis.
The key difference between the existing Acting for Stage and Screen emphasis and the new Musical Theatre emphasis is that the musical theatre will be under Humanities. The classes will largely overlap between the acting and musical theatre emphases, with minor differences when it comes to screen or musical oriented courses.
Tom Dunn, Chair of Communications Media, says that many of the disciplines in musical theatre fall “outside of what we have been focusing on in Communication Media.”
Steve Kramp, Dean of Humanities, agrees, and adds that musical theatre “draws on several different disciplines that have to do with the humanities in a pretty powerful way.” It will find its feet, says Professor Kramp, within Humanities and the rich literary tradition studied there.
Guys and Dolls opens March 4th-9th. General Admission is $5 while Reserved Admission is $10. Tickets can be purchased by clicking the link below.