April 2, 2006 I'm very excited to write this entry. Partly this is because, well, it's my first entry! But also, I'm in a state of post-show happiness and proud relief. I'm one of the leaders of Untitled@Large, a student theatre group on campus. We recently organized a black box show of student-written work, and every year in the fall, we perform Shakespeare-in-the-Glen. But this weekend, we did something very new: a musical.
Now, although it's new for Untitled, this is not a new thing on the Hamilton campus- every Spring, the Music department puts on a musical, and it's very big and well-attended. And even Untitled has put on musicals before...but that was many years ago, well before I came to Hamilton. So when the idea came to mind, it seemed a little bit crazy. After all, when the process began a few weeks ago, the Music students were in rehearsals for their Spring show, and the Theatre students were in rehearsals for theirs. And every musical we looked at either called for a cast that was too big or too small. Furthermore, it costs money to put on a musical... a lot! Not only did we have to pull everything together to get props and costumes, we had to have our budget approved by Student Assembly, and then had to buy the rights to whatever musical we had chosen.
Even still, after many late-night discussions and plenty of set-backs, we became determined to do this. It seemed like the impossible dream. We only had a small selection of available dates, and still had to determine who the cast was going to be. And it took us weeks to find out whether or not we could even get the rights to do the performance in the first place. Fingers crossed, we held auditions for How to Succeed in Business (Without Really Trying) and cast our show not even knowing if it would really happen.
Thankfully, we had a lot of interest. Students from all the arts were excited to work together to pull off such an ambitious plan. And soon, everything started coming together. We not only had singers, dancers, and actors, but also directors and choreographers, musicians and techies, lined up to help. It seemed the excitement was contagious. Although our respective academic departments had prepared us well for this kind of thing, we'd never done anything quite like it before. As a completely student-run production, we were entering into some scary territory. But because so many people had put so much faith, work, and energy into the project, our "impossible dream" soon became a reality.
At last, we obtained the rights and could start rehearsing. It took a lot of time and patience- one night, we even worked until 3:00 AM! But finally, once the costumes and technical elements were in place, we had a show. We performed this weekend to a crowd of almost 200 people all together, and were thrilled to find ourselves in Wellin Performance Hall, putting on a musical. After each show, we were all smiles, hugging and laughing and jumping up and down with excitement that we actually had done it!
All our hard work had paid off. And after four years in the Performing Arts at Hamilton, I couldn't be more proud of what we've been able to accomplish. It feels fantastic to have worked with such talented, ambitious people who, now, I consider my friends. And at the same time, it makes me very sad to leave in only a matter of months. But I'm happy to know that we were able to do something like this, and I'm reassured to know that the people and the organization I'm leaving behind will be able to carry on our new traditions.