Michigan State University’s Department of Theatre announces its new Musical Theatre Touring Company, which will have its premiere at the Friends of Theatre “A Bite of Broadway” gala on Wednesday, May 10, at Wharton Center for Performing Arts.
The Musical Theatre Touring Company is a group of elite students from MSU’s Musical Theatre immersion program who will take musical theatre performances on the road and across the country as part of a collaboration with the Wharton Center and MSU’s Department of Theatre.
“The students will have more opportunities to hone their craft, present material in a variety of performance venues, and continue to grow as artists,” said Brad Willcuts, Assistant Professor of Theatre.
The Musical Theatre Touring Company will perform regionally and be available for alumni organizations and related events across the country. The group was created in a way to allow it to be shaped for various occasions.
Musicals can reach all sorts of people, groups, and events.
“We chose to create a musical theatre company because it can appeal to various organizations including those not necessarily familiar with theatre in general,” Willcuts said. “Musicals can reach all sorts of people, groups, and events. This touring company could feasibly perform for a very large range of events since the range of musical styles is equally as large.”
Auditions for this new initiative took place this spring. The Musical Theatre Touring Company features students Anna Birmingham, Emma Callis, Jacob Covert, Sarah Davis, Katelyn Hodge, Lukas Jacob, Taylor Mcphail, Melanie Vandenberg, and Max Sanders under the direction of Willcuts and Alisa Hauser, Department of Theatre Specialist, with musical direction by Dave Wendelberger, Department of Theatre Specialist.
To date, several local performances have been scheduled, including the May 10 premiere.
A Bite of Broadway Gala
Before taking performances on the road, the group will perform on MSU’s campus at the “A Bite of Broadway” gala. A special guest artist from Broadway, Courtney Holbrook, will join the company at the gala. Holbrook appeared in Kinky Boots on Broadway as Nicola and in Les Misérables. Wharton Center musical fans may remember her in The Addams Family as Wednesday and in Legally Blonde.
In addition to the entertainment, the gala will include a strolling dinner of heavy hors d’oeuvres and wine.
Tickets for the “A Bite of Broadway” gala are $100 or $50, of which is tax-deductible and available through the Department of Theatre website.
All proceeds from the gala will benefit the Friends of Theatre Endowment, which provides funding for special projects benefitting MSU Theatre students, including the ĭmáGen Musical Theatre Immersion Program with Wharton Center, Summer Circle Kids’ Camp, and the 4th Wall Theatre Company collaboration. Other projects that may be funded through the endowment include student scholarships, artist/educator fellowships, guest artist and scholar residencies, and special production activities.
Gifts to the endowment can be made in a single payment, as a recurring sustaining gift, or as a pledge in installments. Those interested in contributing to the endowment may contact Marcia LeVigne at firstname.lastname@example.org.