by Madalyn Johnson, Asst. A&E Editor
The Visual and Performing Arts Department of MC is preparing for what might be one of the most fun-filled and comical semesters yet.
MC Singers have already begun rehearsing for their annual performance at Manhattan College’s open house and will additionally be performing a melody of songs from the prominent Swedish pop group, ABBA. MC Players are positively looking forward to their fall semester with a new cast of board members and a first full year with their theater director James Caldwell.
Students will be performing Sarah Ruhl’s “Dead Man’s Cell Phone” in November and Qui Nguyen’s “She Kills Monsters” next semester in February. They will close the fall semester with a cabaret in late November that will carry the theme, “Welcome to High School.”
MC Singers opened their first rehearsal to students on Wednesday, Sept. 4 at 7 p.m. Students were thrilled to see and reunite with their fellow choir members and many new faces were also warmly welcomed.
Andy Bauer, the Director of Music and Coordinator of Performing Arts at MC, jumped right into warm-ups and a run-through of a variety of popular ABBA songs including “Mamma Mia,” “Dancing Queen,” and “Waterloo.”
Bauer shared how he and the Singers plan on rehearsing and perfecting their performances in time for upcoming concerts.
“Singers prides itself on performing a variety of choral music from many genres,” Said Bauer. “Rehearsals are always centered on developing healthy vocal technique, which includes proper vowel placement, intonation, breathing and diction.”
Bauer also talked about the restful environment he tries to create for his students.
“Our mission is to develop musical excellence by providing a fun, rewarding, and fulfilling atmosphere. I like to think of the Performing Arts Department as ‘the no stress zone.’ Our students can find a place to relax and enjoy music while being challenged to develop their skills at the college level,” said Bauer.
Along with campus performances in the fall semester, there are also plans for MC Singers to travel and perform out of the country.
“We are in the initial planning stages of a European tour, which will occur immediately following Commencement in May,” said Bauer. “Stay tuned for more details on this exciting trip as we proudly represent our school across the pond!”
Manhattan College Players held their first meeting in the Black Box Theatre Wednesday, Sept. 7 at 9:15 p.m., where upcoming productions were officially announced.
“Dead Man’s Cell Phone” will be directed by James Caldwell who worked on the premiere of the off-broadway production in 2008. “She Kills Monsters” will be student-run, a second stage production, and directed by senior Gabby Kasper.
Caldwell mentioned how excited he is to continue to build on the relationships he made last year when stepping in as director for MC Players.
“I’m looking forward to building upon relationships formed during our production of ‘Urinetown’ last spring,” said Caldwell. “I continue to be impressed by the students’ talent and work ethic. I’m always amazed with what they are able to pull off in addition to their massive academic obligations.”
Junior Camryn Kidney, informed students of the cabaret which will take place Nov. 21, 22 and 23. Auditions will be on Oct. 8 and 9.
Kidney described this year’s cabaret as a show about “growing up and love and stigma and just what adolescence is.”
Peter Martino, senior and producer of MC Players, talked about how he’s feeling working with Caldwell and the new student members of MC Players.
“I’m excited,” Martino said. “We got a lot of first-year students who seem really interested and [James] is now in his second show here, doing a show he enjoys so much. He’s very enthusiastic and is so great. I think we have great talent and I think we will have even more that we just haven’t seen yet.”
Martino also discussed the mindset he has going into his final year as a member of MC Players. “I’m just trying to enjoy it and get everyone as interested and involved as possible so this club can be for them what it was for me.”
Auditions for “Dead Man’s Cell Phone” will be Monday, Sept. 5 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. and “She Kills Monsters” will hold their auditions Friday, Sept. 13 from 2:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Both will take place in the Black Box Theatre.