By Lauren Schuster, Staff Writer
Late Tuesday evening, a crowd of faces both new and familiar were packed into the Black Box theater in Thomas Hall, patiently awaiting the official announcement of this year’s productions to be put on by the Manhattan College Players.
One big announcement of the evening was that the fall mainstage production is set to be “Rumors”. The show “Rumors” is a farce, meaning that it will be very comical, and as mainstage director Marty Marchitto briefly explained, it is a show that focuses a great deal on the relationships between the various characters in the cast. The show was decided upon through a process that combines suggestions from the members of the club and an evaluation of the club’s resources by both the club’s board and the mainstage director.
Marketing and publicity manager, Gabi Herrera, explained the process, saying, “We allow all of our members to pitch one musical and one play. If you’re on the board, you’re able to pitch two musicals and two plays, because you’re more involved and you can better predict what we would be able to do.”
The members of the board then go through all of the pitches and spend two to three weeks researching and evaluating them.
“Then after those two or three weeks, we meet together and we have a voting system. We come up with the top three list of both plays and musicals, we give it to Marty and he picks. So, we try to create a fair system, and we try to create something that students can be really involved in, because it’s our club and our shows,” Herrera explained.
Producer Gabby Kasper added, “Also, with Marty making the decisions, it’s really a collaboration as well. He wants to pick the shows that we want to do. He doesn’t want to just put on a show that we would all end up hating.”
While the board members expressed excitement for all aspects of the upcoming year, they expressed particular excitement towards working with the new freshmen that attended the meeting.
Production manager Alex Kelly explained, “I’m very excited after tonight, seeing all the freshmen that have joined. That was a lot of people and it was so awesome, so that’s definitely something I’m excited about.”
Treasurer Erin Murphy added, “Yeah, I’m definitely excited about all the new people we got. Because we are such a student-run club, everybody brings something different to the table, and we’ll probably get so many new ideas and so many new talents to feature and it will be great for the club.”
Kasper agreed, saying, “I just think it was so exciting to see. I just remember being in that position [as a freshman], and it was just so nice to be able to invite people like I felt I was invited.”
The excitement seemed to be mutual as many new freshmen eagerly signed up to be involved in all aspects of the productions. Freshman Camryn Holly said, “I want to join the tech crew. I really enjoy watching talent on stage since I don’t have it. I like being a part of creating something, it’s just really cool to see it grow from beginning to end.” Holly added that she enjoyed being involved in behind-the-scenes work in several of her high school’s productions, and looks forward to spending time with her friends in the club.
The casts for both the fall mainstage production and the murder mystery are considered to be fairly large. “Rumors” has five female and five male roles, while the murder mystery has a cast of eighteen.
Social chair Matt Peters, who helps to direct the murder mystery, explained, “[The casts are pretty large,] which I think is good, because in the murder mystery you get a lot of people who don’t necessarily want to do the mainstage play, and so it works out well when you have about the same amount of people doing each show, because this way you’re not excluding anybody, which we try not to do in this club.”
In addition to the fall mainstage production and the murder mystery, the MC Players will also put on a cabaret, a Valentine’s Day production, a play reading and a spring musical this year. While they are first focusing on the fall productions, the board is also looking forward to the spring musical, which will be officially announced at a later date.
After doing the very modern musical “Legally Blonde” last spring, the board intends to do a slightly more traditional musical this year. Secretary Megan Lawlor said, “I think it’s really exciting because [the spring musical] is really different from our show last year, but it is still going to be just as spectacular.”
Herrera added, “We just did a very modern musical last year and now we’re going to be able to explore something that could be considered to be from more of a classical genre. I mean, it’s not too classical, but it’s considered a classic show within theater and Broadway, so it’s going to be exciting. We just did a modern show and now we get to do something that’s a little more contrasted in musical style.”
The murder mystery show is set to take place in October, while “Rumors” is set for November. The other shows’ dates are yet to be announced.