Perspective Online

Big Bad Musical Offers Good Experience

by Kenya White

Big Bad Musical Offers Good Experience

Cast and crew of the Big Bad Musical.

Beginning my performance career as a singer, then a pianist, and later, joining the performing arts, I never imagined getting the opportunity of being a director and accompanist for a musical while still being in college. Being a senior theatre major and minoring in vocal performance at UWG, my ability to learn and perform has grown tremendously. Under the direction of faculty in both the theatre and music departments, the list of training and opportunities I have been able to experience goes on and on. When learning that my senior capstone was musical director and piano accompanist for UWG Theatre Company’s production of “The Big Bad Musical: A Howling Courtroom Comedy,” I began listening to the soundtrack of the musical almost religiously—I still find myself humming the tunes throughout my day. This experience has opened my eyes to a new appreciation for music directors and accompanists.

Starting rehearsals for the show, I was nervous; I hadn’t played piano professionally in over five years. But with the help and encouragement of faculty and staff—as well as hours I spent in front of the piano—I’ve gained the confidence I need to comfortably play this score. After sitting down at the piano and learning all the vocal parts as well as the piano score, all of a sudden it became muscle memory and my hands began to do the work themselves. I anxiously anticipated and awaited the first day of rehearsal. In our first rehearsal, I played along with the soundtrack for my cast and by the end of that rehearsal, the catchy tunes were stuck in their heads, too.

This experience has been exhilarating, yet terrifying all at the same time. Being an authority figure for your peers can be somewhat intimidating, but I could sense this huge armor of love and support from my colleagues who were now my cast—they not only wanted me to succeed, they wanted to succeed with me.

An interesting thing about this musical is that I am not only music directing and accompanying, but I am also a character in the show. Now, going in to my third week of rehearsals, I am so thrilled to see the show coming together. I have been blessed with a lovely guest director, Laurel Farley-Crowe, who is the director of education at Georgia Ensemble Theatre (Roswell, Georgia) as well as a UWG alumna. With Laurel’s flexibility, high energy, and great direction, we have created such a fun show that audiences of all ages will love.

Kenya White is a senior theatre major.

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