Happy April Fools’ Day! You are reading an article written for our April Fools’ edition of the newspaper, The Deceiver. This is a work of satire.
Recent updates to the processes by which the Student Government Association allocates funds to student organizations have left theatre organizations across campus scrambling. Because SGA will no longer be funding props or costumes, any show that requires particularly showy or expensive costumes, such as Flaherty and Ahren’s beloved classic “Seussical,” is now off the table for these groups.
This change has hit the Musical Theatre Club particularly hard. Despite trying other means to fundraise their spring production, such as selling singing Valentines, the group came up short and was not able to raise enough money to continue with their planned production of “Spring Awakening.” Cast members were devastated: Arthur Podge, a junior math major who had been cast as a supporting role, said, “When I heard the news, it took everything in my power not to throw myself into the library pond.”
But the cast and crew of “Spring Awakening” were not ready to give up on their spring production altogether. Instead of cancelling the show, they got together to brainstorm possible replacement shows that would require very little in terms of props and costumes. The solution? A completely original musical written and composed by members of MTC based on their own lives right here at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, entitled “Musical Theatre Club! The Musical.”
The show’s plot follows a small group of quirky-yet-lovable theatre kids as they try to balance classes and schoolwork, all while putting on a top-tier show at the end of the semester. But despite their love and passion for theatre, they keep running into increasingly frustrating obstacles while trying to put up the fairly mundane Kinder and Herb musical “Drapery.” “Musical Theatre Club! The Musical”’s writers claim that all the situations and characters depicted in the show are purely fictitious.
“’Musical Theatre Club! The Musical’ is perfect, because we’re playing characters who are UMBC students, just like us,” says MTC president and senior visual arts major Scoot Armchair. “So we can just wear our normal clothes and use stuff we own for props.”
Armchair will star in the show as an alternate version of himself; his character, named ‘Scott,’ is a stressed-out computer science major whose defining characteristic is listening to emo music. This is a stark contrast with the Scoot his castmates all know and love, who is a laid-back guy with an affinity for Taylor Swift and Chopin.
“It’s been really interesting stepping into the roll of ‘Scott.’ I didn’t know if I could connect with a character so different from who I really am, but it’s been a great acting challenge,” Armchair explains. “I wasn’t even going to be in “Spring Awakening,” ‘cause that show sucks, so I’m glad we’re doing this instead.” He also notes it’s been nice to have something to take up his time, considering his class load has been so relaxed this semester.
Lara Mitchell, formerly the director of “Spring Awakening” and now of “Musical Theatre Club! The Musical,” is excited to be directing her first original production, but is also nervous about having to teach so much blocking in the few short weeks before the show’s April 12 premier in the Fine Arts Recital Hall. The junior biochemistry major explained that much of the script is improvisational, meaning there are few lines for the cast to memorize, “but there are at least five full-company dance numbers to learn. And we have to get the scene at the end, where Hrabowski teaches us that the real SGA allocation was the friends we made along the way, or the whole show falls flat.” When asked who would be portraying Hrabowski, Mitchell stated that no one had been cast yet, but that she had “something very special in the works.”
Despite the time crunch, cast members are excited. Podge, who has been cast as an English student named ‘Ari’, is ready to put in the times and effort to get this show perfect by opening night. “I love ‘Spring Awakening,’ but ‘Musical Theatre Club! The Musical’ is amazing. Honestly, next-level stuff,” he says. “I’ll be surprised if we don’t win [the Tony award for] Best Score, or at least Best Supporting Actress.”
Mark your calendars now for April 12, 13 and 14 — it sounds like this show is one you’re not going to want to miss.