A New Year for the Performing Arts Department

When Performing Arts Department Chair Laura Rosberg sent an email in early June announcing the 2018-2019 theater season, remnants from Floyd Collins could still be found backstage and in the black box. But now as students flood the hallways again, plans for this year’s shows are well underway.

The fall play, Metamorphoses, and spring musical, Urinetown, are decidedly different from last year’s shows and each brings its own unique challenges for everyone involved, from the actors and actresses to the designers and crew members.

The play Metamorphoses is a contemporary adaptation of the classic poem, Metamorphoses, written by Roman poet Ovid. The stories told throughout the play are all meant to be staged in a swimming pool, an exciting yet daunting prospect.

“It brings so many challenges: coping with wet costumes, keeping the water warm, safe, and clean, and keeping actors warm backstage,” Rosberg explained.

Despite these challenges, Rosberg is confident in the young designers’ abilities and is eager to give actors more opportunities.

“For the actors, what’s interesting is that they will play multiple roles,” Rosberg said. “It’s an ensemble piece.”

Urinetown, a satirical comedy musical about a dystopian world where people are forced to pay to use the bathroom, is also an ensemble piece.

“I am always looking to come up with things that are really different from the year before; last year Floyd Collins was a star vehicle and same with A Midsummer Night’s Dream, which really came down to the lovers,” Rosberg explained.

Urinetown has a wide range of named characters that Rosberg hopes will “spread a little thinner and be a real contrast to last year’s shows.”

While this year’s shows will be a considerable shift from last years’, the biggest change in the performing arts department is the arrival of Christal Boyd, the new technical director. After years with Will Ley filling that position, Boyd is a new face in the theater program.

“It’s nice for a change to have a woman in that role because there are increasingly female directors but not a huge number of female designers,” Rosberg shared.

Additionally, Boyd comes to GDS with a strong background in lighting, having worked on many major events and productions including the lighting for the off-Broadway production of Avenue Q in New York City.

“She comes to us with incredible credentials,” Rosberg said. “She has a myriad of skills, interests, and talents.”

With everything set for the upcoming year, the task of bringing together a new group of people to form the cast and crew for the fall show remains undone.

“I think we will manage without last year’s seniors, but if there aren’t a lot of freshmen, we may have a small group,” sophomore Bryce Savoy noted. “It would be good to have more underclassman representation.”

At the same time, Rosberg feels confident in the size and ability of the theater program.

“I do know that we have a lot of able performers right now and a lot of able designers and crew kids, almost more than usual, and I’m not even sure why that is,” she said. “I am looking forward to it.”

By Mica Maltzman