After capping off the fall semester with a student-led festival of one-act plays, the Anselmian Abbey Players are back for the spring semester with a busy schedule. Events include a lineup of Fun Fridays, a 24-hour play festival and a production of the musical The theory of relativity. The 24-Hour Game Festival is a highly anticipated throwback event from last year, and Fun Fridays have been happening regularly since the fall semester, but plans for the spring musical have changed since it was originally announced.
In the fall semester, Stephen Sondheim killers was announced as the spring show. killers tells the stories of every person who has ever attempted (successfully or not) to assassinate a President of the United States. However, as the auditions approached, it became apparent that the initial choice of Abbeys might no longer be the best choice, and killers was replaced by Neil Bartram and Brian Hill’s The theory of relativity .
When asked to comment on this, Daniel Bird Tobin, director of the Abbey Players and head of the creative team for the Spring Musical, said: “killers was a musical about division and violence. We thought it would be a more rewarding experience for everyone involved to do a show like Theory of relativity, which is about finding joy and connection.
Regarding the reasoning behind the abrupt change of plans, Tobin said, “There are always a ton of considerations when choosing a show – when choosing in the fall, we focused on one thing. Now, in another time, it seemed important to find a show that everyone could find joy and meaning in,” and added that it would be “nice to do a festive musical in a time like this. “.
The theory of relativity is described by licensing company Music Theater International as “a joyful and moving look at our surprisingly interconnected lives”. MTI’s website states that “Through a seemingly unrelated collection of songs, scenes and monologues The theory of relativity features a compelling cast of characters experiencing the joys and sorrows, the liaisons and the losses, the inevitability and wonder of human connection.
The Abbey Players are also delighted to produce a 24-hour festival of play as part of a process which will take place on February 25 and 26. About this event, Tobin said: “For anyone who hasn’t experienced it: in 24 hours a whole lot of new plays are going to be written, staged, memorized, learned and performed. I think it’s a blast for the participants and the audience members.
The Abbeys’ Fun Friday events will also take place throughout the semester, starting January 25 with a playwriting workshop. These usually take place on Friday afternoons from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m., and according to Tobin, events scheduled for the rest of the semester include everything from parties to opportunities to learn various aspects of acting.
Clearly, COVID-19 still presents a widespread challenge for theater makers. The Abbey Players will continue to follow College guidelines, requiring masks for all rehearsals and performances until policies change. Regarding The theory of relativity, Tobin said that “if things go wrong and the numbers change, we could be unmasked for the performances, but that decision will be made with members of the administration” and closer to the time of the performances.
When asked for his final thoughts on the Abbeys spring semester, Tobin expressed his excitement to dive into The theory of relativity, describing it as “a fun, fresh and dynamic show about stories that people care about”. From the springtime musical to the 24-hour festival of plays to the ongoing Fun Fridays, the Abbey Players look forward to sharing the events of the semester with members of the public and attendees.