The Creative Arts Department is presenting the musical Company this month to pay homage to one of the greatest composers of musical theatre, Stephen Sondheim, who passed away last year.
Company is a concept musical and a love letter to New York City centered around the lead character’s birthday. The Siena production, which opens November 10, will be directed by Sharon Paluch ’87. She has taken a contemporary approach by casting all the characters based on the person, and not the gender, with one exception: the lead character Bobby(ie) is a woman, as in the production currently running on Broadway.
“Great works stand the test of time and allow contemporary interpretations of universal truths,” said Paluch. “A story of an unmarried 35-year-old woman who enjoys her freedom, but still wonders if she is missing out on something speaks to us today. With the gender flip of Robert to Bobbie, we take a fresh and modern look at marriage and relationships in 2022.”
Olivia Burns ’23 is playing role of Bobbie as she observes the ins and outs of married life with each of her avant-garde friends.
“It has been an absolute joy to work alongside a group of such talented and dedicated individuals,” said Burns. “The cast, crew, and production team have worked day and night to make this show as incredible as possible. Not only has this role been a dream come true for me, but it has taught me so much about ‘Being Alive.’ I am so proud of the story that we have all created and I couldn't be more excited for everyone to get a glimpse into Bobbie's good and crazy life!”
Jillian Fiddler ’23 is stage manager for Company and said it has been “one of the most rewarding experiences of my college career.
“Acting as the bridge between the production team, crew and cast comes with its challenges but it has allowed me to create connections and relationships with so many amazing people on campus,” said Fiddler. “The dedication that each and every person has shown is truly incredible and shows the level of talent that is present here at Siena.”
Musical director Tim Reno, D.M.A., associate dean of liberal arts, says of Sondheim, “Every note from him, every word, has purpose and clarity. He reaches us where we are. He shows us that, yes, life is messy and hard and complicated and imperfect. He helps us erase the lines that we create to divide ourselves.
“In another time and place, Sondheim would have been Bach or Brahms. He just happened to be in the here and now, and he chose musical theatre,” he said.
November 10, 11, 17, 18, and 19 at 8 PM
November 12 & 13 at 3 PM
Beaudoin Theatre in Foy Hall