MCCTA Prepares for Another Exciting Semester of Productions
By Sarah Lynch
The commencement of the spring semester ushers in a new season for Marist College Club Theatre Arts (MCCTA), brimming with an eclectic selection of productions. As the club makes its foray into the new year, its first production will transport audiences back in time to the Golden Era of musical theatre. Co-produced by MCCTA and the Academic Theatre Program, the upcoming production of “Anything Goes” will run from Feb. 21 to Feb. 25 (Feb. 21-23 at 8 p.m.; Feb. 24-25, 2 p.m.), officially launching the club’s spring slate of programs.
The 1934 musical “Anything Goes” follows adventures of Evangelist and nightclub singer Reno Sweeney aboard the S.S. American. She connects with old friend and stowaway Billy Crocker as he endeavors to win the love of Hope Harcourt, who happens to be engaged to the wealthy Lord Evelyn Oakleigh. The antics of Public Enemy #13, Moonface Martin, and his girlfriend Bonnie, add to the cruise’s mayhem and excitement. The Nelly Goletti Theatre will come alive with the toe-tapping music of Cole Porter, with classic tunes such as “You’re the Top” and “I Get a Kick Out of You.”
Director and MCCTA Faculty Adviser Matt Andrews began directing campus productions at Marist College in 2001 with “Anything Goes,” and has since directed 16 shows at the college.
“We have not done a true Golden Era musical – the Golden Age of musical theatre is 1927 to 1968 – in a long time, at least five or six years and not since the theatre program has been working with the club on it,” Andrews said.
Andrews, along with a team of designers, a choreographer, and a musical director, have worked to develop a vision for the musical.
“The beauty of this play, the highlight and the strength of this play, is its score and its dancing,” Andrews said. Anything Goes is musical director Dan Koch’s first musical at Marist College, while choreographer Luis Perez is in his third year working with the department.
In her third and final musical at Marist, senior Julia DiMarzo will take on the show’s leading role as Reno Sweeney. She said this production of “Anything Goes” feels like “the culmination” of her theatre experience.
“I’ve always love doing theatre, and it’s actually one of the reasons I transferred to Marist,” DiMarzo said. “It’s a great show with great music, and a talented cast.”
DiMarzo also hopes that the show will spark student interest in MCCTA and encourage more students to make the most of the options the department offers.
MCCTA President and senior Gabriela Morris said the productions scheduled for the remainder of the semester are incredibly student-driven. The “Me Too Monologues,” which will take place from April 12 to April 14 at 8 p.m., began three years ago and provide opportunities for anyone in the Marist community, not just students, to submit anonymous pieces to be performed, directed, and produced by club members. “The Dining Room” by A.R. Gurney will be performed from March 23 to March 24 at 8 p.m. and March 25 at 2 p.m., and this experimental play will also be student run. In April, “Festival” presents student-written plays. The winner of “Festival” will receive a memorial scholarship, Morris said.
Like DiMarzo, this spring also concludes Morris’ time in MCCTA, but she is especially excited about bringing this semester’s upcoming events to fruition.
“I’m very excited. It’s been such a pleasure to serve as president. We have so many cool shows coming up, starting with this huge musical,” Morris said. “It’s really incredible that we can pull this big show off and also produce student-run shows. We really run the full gamut of theatre opportunities, which sets us apart from other schools.”
Students, faculty, family, friends and more can gather in the Nelly Goletti for the official kick-off of MCCTA’s spring schedule with “Anything Goes,” experience a taste of theatre at Marist and find respite in the entertainment it provides.
“With a show like Anything Goes, if you’re tired of studying, you’re tired with work, come here for two hours and 10 minutes, and have fun,” Andrews said.