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Script development sessions will culminate with a live performance on campus Nov. 17

Lafayette students and professors are getting a rare chance to be involved with a Broadway-bound musical and work alongside award-winning professional actors.

The professional creative team for Caligula – including director Christopher Presley, producer Rich Affannato, author/composer Eric Svejcar, and several Broadway stars – is currently on campus working with a select group of students for a series of script development sessions.

Through these sessions, student and professional actors are performing numerous rehearsals to allow the production staff to make adjustments to the script and direction prior to its production on Broadway. The schedule is very rigorous with nine 3-4 hour sessions from Nov. 5-16. There will be a final public performance 8 p.m. Nov. 17 in the Williams Center for the Arts during the Lafayette Fringe Festival.

According to organizer Mary Jo Lodge, assistant professor of English, the sessions will provide students with an inside look at the development process of a new musical.

“Lafayette’s involvement with Caligula is so exciting, since the students are getting an opportunity rarely enjoyed at a small liberal arts college – to work firsthand on a new Broadway musical alongside Broadway actors,” says Lodge. “While some other schools do participate in work of this kind, those students are typically BFA musical theater students. This project is helping to strengthen Lafayette’s growing reputation as a place where great theater is made.”

Presley and Svejcar will also lead master classes for the students during their time on campus.

Members of the cast include: Braden Tilghman ’09, Chris Duru ’10, Brett Billings ’12, Jackie Macri ’09, Dana Pardini ’12, Maryann Kokus ’12, Alex Lucy ’12, Andrew Schnall ’10, Heather Godshall ’12, Joe Shieber, assistant professor of philosophy, and Lodge. Broadway actors Euan Morton and David Edwards are also part of the production.

Caligula is an original rock musical, which tells the story of the notorious Roman Emperor in the style of 1970s glam rock. It was a finalist for the 2003 Richard Rodgers Award and was voted Audience Favorite in the inaugural season of the New York Musical Theatre Festival.

  • English
  • Theater
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