Musical rawr-ing success
Kelsea Renz | managing editor
Over the years Pitt State Theater has taken audiences to 1940’s France and the wild jungles of India, but this month they went back in time – 65 million years to be exact.
The PSU production of “The Dinosaur Musical” ran Thursday, Oct. 24, through Saturday, Oct. 26.
The play, written by Tony Award nominated composer Robert Reale, followed former Dino singing sensation Carlotta and her daughter, Mindy, who to a volcanic café that houses a resistance movement dedicated to stopping Prince Quincy and his army of tyrannosauruses from taking over the world.
“This had a named cast of 13 and we had five additional chorus members,” Cooper said, “It was a lot of fun and we hadn’t done a musical in the communication department for quite some time. That’s a valuable opportunity for our students, to be able to participate in a musical.”
Cooper says that the production did not come with a recording, leading the music director, graduate student AJ Beu, and the band to do a recording themselves.
“There was a score, but the biggest challenge was that there was no recording of the show,” Beu said. “We had to do our own recording and we managed to make it work.
Cooper and Beu worked in tandem with Olivia Towner, senior in psychology and the choreographer, to make sure the performers where as vibrant and colorful as their costumes and sets.
“I didn’t realize how big the costumes were going to be,” Towner said. “I don’t know what I was expecting but I’ve never had to work with costuming like that. The cast has worked really hard.”
Towner added said that it was difficult to dance with the costumes and the large dinosaur helmets the performers had to wear during the show only heightened the hardship.
“Those tails are massive and the T. Rex heads are huge,” she said, “It was just a lot of practice.”
The cast also put on a matinee show for area elementary and middle schools since the show was intended for a family audience.
“All the little kids got involved,” Towner said, “We gave them the lyrics to the last song and they got to sing with us.”
The cast worked hard to convey the play’s message to the young children they knew would be attending.
“There’s definitely a theme of acceptance of other’s and their differences,” Cooper said, “Also, to be true to yourself even though you might be a little different. Not only do the characters accept others for their difference but we see them work toward a solution that works for everyone.”
Many students who watched the show say they agreed that the message was the biggest part of the play.
“I really enjoyed the play,” said Mayuri Murali, junior in psychology.
“Especially for children, it had a nice moral in the story.”
“I was expecting kid humor from this show for the most part,” said Nick Thompson, senior in computer information systems. “But I think the message of coexistence is important.”