'Jewel on the Thames'
As part of Centennial Fall Weekend, the Connecticut College theater department will present "Foundations, Dreams and Inspirations: The Centennial Project," a unique celebration of the College and its impact on members of its community.
Michael Lerner '89 said that in the production, which he is directing, "The College's history is examined and reflected upon in a completely original piece of theater written and performed entirely by the cast. The material for the project was gathered from the College archives, interviews with alumni and current students and the cast's personal reflections on their own experiences at the College. The evening consists of original music and musical numbers, original scenes and monologues and original choreography, all set within the basic framework of the College's history."
The cast comprises Connecticut College students and, while some aren't theater majors, all have experience performing in theatrical and musical productions. As they explored the materials on which they based the show, the students found plenty of inspiration, including the debates about whether the College should admit men, Floralia (the College's annual spring music festival), and more.
"Students were inspired by the alumni they interviewed," Lerner said. "They were inspired to reflect on how the College has changed them, even, in the case of the freshmen, on how they are different after just a few weeks here. Speeches of certain College presidents inspired monologues and scenes. Even the founding of the College inspired a musical scene, which serves as the opening of the show. Clearly, the College is not just a place to cheer about, it's a place to burst into song about!"
The production will particularly resonate with members of the Connecticut College community, but Lerner believes the talented cast gives the show broader appeal as well.
"I have to say that these actors are wonderful performers across the board," he said. "They are constantly entertaining and their performances will be tremendously appealing to anyone who comes to see their work."
"Foundations, Dreams and Inspirations" runs in Tansill Theater from Thursday, Oct. 20, through Sunday, Oct. 23, with 8 p.m. performances on Thursday, Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. performances on Saturday and Sunday. Tickets are $8 for general admission and $6 for students.