The Annie Russell Theatre opened its eighty-fifth season with The Cradle Will Rock by Marc Blitzstein. The musical describes the post-Great Depression era where political corruption and corporate greed take over a fictional town called Steeltown, USA. The fight about unionization between the working class and the main antagonist Mr. Mister portrays a powerful message about class struggles through comedic playwriting.
“I feel that [the theatre department faculty] from what they told us, still found the content extremely relevant to a lot of the political turmoil going on today,” said assistant director Fiona Campbell ’18. “It rings really true to audiences today, we feel.”
The cast and crew have always worked diligently to produce amazing shows, spending countless hours running lines and learning songs. However, recent circumstances revolving around Hurricane Irma caused significant delays. The cast lost about a week of rehearsal, some even more if they had to evacuate and could not come back on time. However, this has not altered the mood of the cast. If anything, it has motivated them to work harder.
“The cast has been really wonderful, taking the initiative to rehearse things outside of rehearsal,” said Campbell. “Running lines with each other and running their songs with our extra accompanist, Fletcher Wilson. We’re trying to recover as much ground as we can by rehearsing multiple things at the same time by splitting up our creative team.”
With only about two and a half weeks of rehearsal prior to Irma and jumping into technical rehearsal, or ‘tech,’ week a week after returning to school, the cast and crew have worked diligently every night at rehearsal to catch up on lost time.
Jordan Barnett ’21, who plays Gus Polack and the Cop, said, “We’ve held the situation in a positive manner… We mess around and joke about it, but everyone’s really stepped up about it. We don’t want to fail on stage. But I think we’ll definitely be able to pull it off.”
As the remaining days of rehearsal become numbered, both Campbell and Barnett believe that nothing will slow down the production, even with Irma. “This show is going to be really unlike any show we’ve done at the Annie before,” proclaimed Campbell.
The Cradle Will Rock will premier Friday, September 29 until Sunday, October 7 in the Annie Russell Theatre with various show times each day. The showtimes are as follows: