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UATD to perform 'Merrily We Roll Along'

The department of theatre and dance will be performing Stephen Sondheim's "Merrily We Roll Along" from Monday through Friday. CW | Lindsey Leonard

Drew Pendleton

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Based on a 1934 play and adapted into a musical in 1981, “Merrily We Roll Along” follows Franklin Shepard, a Broadway lyricist who becomes a Hollywood producer. The story is told backward. The University’s production is directed by Matt Davis, a graduate student majoring in theatre.

Peyton Trueblood, a junior majoring in theatre, is the production’s stage manager. Trueblood said the production is her first musical at the University and has been a challenge.

“There’s a lot more to do,” she said. “We have to keep track of everything in a specific order to make sure everything’s done. We have to work with actors, designers, vocals, musicians and the furniture to make sure everything goes smoothly.”

Dominic Yeager, director of theatre management, said the shows put on by the department are chosen through collaboration between directing students and the 
department’s staff.

“The directing students do the paperwork to pitch shows to the faculty members,” he said. “The faculty member reads them and tells them what they’ll need to do and what challenges they’ll have.”

Yeager, who oversees the students working in the production’s marketing, public relations, outreach, box office and front of house departments, said directing students are able to do two shows a year with the fall musical 
acting as their “showcase.”

Trueblood said while the show itself is difficult, the University’s production has gone smoothly.

“It’s a hard one to do,” she said. “Sondheim’s a difficult composer to sing, and doing a musical in general is a challenge, but you get more out of it. It’s the biggest show I’ve done at the University, and it’s impressive how everyone’s worked together to make this happen.”

Yeager said the show selection process aims to challenge both those involved in the production and the 
audience that sees the final product.

“We want to challenge students and help them grow as actors, 
directors, designers and technicians,” he said. “At the same time, we want to reach out to audiences and not only entertain them but give them a challenge.”

As they prepare to open the production, Trueblood said it has been a 
great experience.

“It’s been great to work with Matt and the musical theatre department,” she said. “I’ve been able to get close with all the actors in musical theatre, and we’ve been able to come together, figure everything out and make this happen.”

Tickets can be purchased for $10 at the door, by phone or online.

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UATD to perform 'Merrily We Roll Along'