Though SMUS students might be taking the summer off, the SMUS campus is keeping busy, hosting a variety of summer programs. The SMUS Summer Musical Theatre Academy is notable for the way it wraps up: a run at the annual Victoria Fringe Festival. This year, 24 student performers will be putting on the satirical comedy Urinetown, which won a Tony Award for Best Original Score and was nominated for Best Musical.
“The summer musical is a two-week summer camp where students get together to put on a musical and the best part about this is the great mood that surrounds it, because everybody is happy to be there,” says Jack Hayes, who is doing the academy again this summer.
“Unlike other musicals, everyone who signs up gets a role in the show,” says Donna Williams, SMUS teacher and musical theatre instructor. Performers don’t get to choose their roles, but the instructors are happy to accommodate their individual preferences, from avoiding singing to playing a main character.
Mrs. Williams is especially excited about Urinetown, which she calls “one of the funniest shows in the history of the world.” The modern musical features lots of music styles and pokes fun at greedy corporations.
“It’s really exciting to do this show,” says Mrs. Williams. “And it’s a great chance for students to explore performing.”
In addition to their intensive rehearsals and live performances, theatre students also get to meet the professional Fringe performers and hear about life on the stage and on the road.
“The summer musical has always been a great way to end the vacation,” says Jack. “You get to meet new friends and see old ones, plus put together an awesome musical!”