Choice of CWU Spring 2015 Musical
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At Central Washington University, the Theatre Department's committee for deciding on the musical for the spring of 2015 chose to do Fiddler On The Roof. I, personally, am not unhappy with this decision, but I am thinking that this show will not allow enough opportunity for the students specifically in the department's program to perform and learn.
Fiddler on the Roof (which is a wonderfully and horrifically beautiful show) is mainly a cast of older adults, where the performance opportunities available would most likely go to the community members rather than the students paying to learn from the Performance and Musical Theatre departments at Central.
I would like to give the students a voice on this issue. As CTC, CTO and SAC (the student organizations and clubs that will be starting up again in Fall of 2014), become more active over this next year, I would like to see better communication between the department and its students. This last year, Central Theatre Ensemble put on a wonderful production of Les Misérables and I am sure I can speak for many when I say that I am grateful for all I have learned from being a part of that show. However, when the rotation of the shows was coming up for next year, all I kept hearing was that we would be doing a Golden Age show.
When I think of a Golden Age show, I think of a specific art form where there is a big ballet dance sequence, a specific type of singing and opportunities for students who need to learn how to perform in this style. Many define the era of Golden Age to be musicals that occur before the year 1963. Fiddler on the Roof came out right after the Golden Age of musical theatre in 1964. Granted that the idea of Golden Age musicals can be a slippery category for the definition of years, I worry that I will not get the training I need for Golden Age musical repertoire if Central is doing Fiddler on the Roof.
There are so many other Golden Age Musical options out there to do: (http://www.broadwaymusicalhome.com/shows/classic.htm)
If the musical cannot be changed, perhaps doing another studio show could be an option.
As for a plan of action, I ask that the committee rethink and reconsider their decision to do Fiddler on the Roof, or at least consider doing another show sometime in the year or next year that will give us this training. The Musical Theatre portion of the Theatre Ensemble is growing and the most training, when doing the actual art form in application, we receive is in process of productions for the one musical we do a year and the Red Curtain Revue, which is also, now a main stage production because of popular interest. The Red Curtain Revue offers performance opportunities in dance especially, which we only get once a year.
I encourage all students to post and talk about what they think about this decision to do Fiddler on the Roof as a Golden Age musical. It is your schooling that you are paying for, do you think that this opportunity will help you grow and learn Golden Age material?
I would like to end this petition with the fact that I am grateful to go to such an institution as Central Washington University and to be a part of the Central Theatre Ensemble. Every teacher takes the time to know me as an artist and even as a person and I didn't really get that anywhere else. I don't look at this situation as a problem because even if nothing changes I know I will learn a lot; I just wanted to voice my opinion on the decisions that will affect my and many others' education in theatre for next year.
Ryan E. Anderson
Central Theatre Ensemble Student
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