The Last Five Years production an experiment in virtual rehearsals

Theatre production an experiment in virtual rehearsals

The Last Five Years production an experiment in virtual rehearsals

Visiting Assistant Professor of Theatre Morgan Mallory wanted to know if a theater production could be rehearsed and coordinated virtually, then performed successfully with the actors’ first in-person interaction on stage. Mallory’s experiment will be conducted live when the MSU Texas Department of Theatre presents The Last Five Years by Jason Robert Brown at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 21, in the Fain Fine Arts Center Theatre.

The romantic comedy-drama musical chronicles the five-year relationship and failed marriage of a young couple. In the two-person show, Mallory will play Cathy, who tells of the relationship from its beginning. Dr. Paul Hindemith, Assistant Professor of Voice at Missouri Western State University, will play her husband, Jamie, who tells his story from the relationship’s ending.

Mallory said that casting for both film and theater is increasingly based on virtual coordination for productions and self-taping experiences. She wanted to know if a production could be rehearsed and coordinated virtually then performed for a live audience, maintaining the theatrical standard of art created in the moment and realistic chemistry between characters.

The audience will be surveyed after the show to gauge how authentic the performances felt and how rehearsed the show seemed. Mallory will present the results of her experiment in a Faculty Forum presentation at 7 p.m. Monday, March 9, in Legacy Hall’s Multipurpose Room. Her talk is titled “Undetermined Predetermined Moments.”

Hindemith has performed with the San Diego Opera, Utah Festival Opera, Ohio Light Opera, and Fargo-Moorhead Opera, as well as the Minnesota Orchestra. He received a “Ruby” award for his portrayal of Lumière in Beauty and the Beast with the Robidoux Resident Theatre in Saint Joseph, Mo. Hindemith serves as Coordinator of Vocal Studies, Music Director for musical theatre, and co-director of the Light Opera Workshop. He holds degrees from the University of Minnesota, the University of Maryland, and Southern Methodist University, where he graduated summa cum laude.

The director is Dr. Charles Turley, voice teacher at Friends University in Wichita, Kansas.

Hindemith will hold musical theatre workshops for students at 9:30 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 20, in Bea Wood Studio Theatre, and at noon and 3 p.m. Friday, Feb. 21, in Bea Wood Studio Theatre.

Admission is free. Call the box office at 940-397-4393, the publicity office at 940-397-4399, or the Department of Theatre at 940-397-4670 for more information.

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