Sunday, November 8, 2009

"The Fantasticks"

I have been involved in the production of "The Fantasticks" at North Central University. I have done all the promotion and all of the lighting (which happens to be a new area of discipline for me). It has been a time consuming, but very fun, job. We opened last Friday night here in Minneapolis and the show is looking great.

As apart of the promotional side I wrote an article for the school newspaper. I'll include it at the bottom of this post. It describes a little of the plot and interviews a couple of people involved in the production past and present. We have another show today and then some time off before we run four more shows next weekend.

“The Fantasticks” 2009 Debut by Ben Christensen

The lights dim, everyone is seated in quiet anticipation of the spectacle that will captivate and entertain hundreds over the next eight performances. In a flash of light, colors, and sounds memories will be made and an experience will be shared. Soon the illusion that is “The Fantasticks” will make its 2009 debut. This one-of-a-kind musical blends comedy, melodrama, love and disturbing situations to take the audience on a journey into a world only one step away from reality.

It is amazing the teams of people that have come together to make this production all it can be. A production team has been working hard since the beginning of the semester to make sure props, costumes, lights and sound are all ready to go. Other areas include choreography, live music and, of course, the cast. All of these areas have been spearheaded by Director and NCU Theater Professor Wayne Matthews. Wayne directed Little Women during the spring semester of 2009 and is currently in his second year of teaching at North Central.

Surprisingly this is not the first time “The Fantasticks” has been seen at North Central. In an old publication used for promotion of the 1997 production, Jeff Emmrich, a North Central Bible College Professor in the Drama department, stated that “The Fantasticks is the longest-running musical in history. There have been more than 8,500 productions of this musical world wide. It is a parable about love. What makes it fun is the rare style in which it is told and the sweetness and dry wit of the songs. The Fantasticks has a captivating combination of wise wit and innocence. This solid family entertainment is filled with infectious humor and lilting tunes.” The same can be said of the current production. The charm and dry wit has been reinvented by NCU in a production designed to make the audience laugh and think.

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