Engaging Minds, Transforming Lives

King Creativity at Southwestern

Tell Me On a Sunday

by Kathryn Bourell
Advisor: Rick Roemer

In 2002, I had the pleasure of being part of an incredible King Creativity project. It was the first student produced, directed, designed and performed musical that appeared on the Southwestern University stage, Personals: The Musical, conceived by Christopher Hudson Myers (Class of ’03). Since then I have dreaming about putting on a similar show of my own. Now, as I am quickly approaching graduation, I felt like I was finally prepared to handle a project on a similar scale.

The semester following Personals presented me with huge changes in my educational career at Southwestern. I went from being a Vocal Performance major to an interdisciplinary major through the theater department called Theater Music (aka Musical Theater). The major course has been a blessing, but since I am the first and only musical theater major at Southwestern, there are no classes available that combine theater, music and dance into one curriculum. I take classes in all three areas, but none of the classes incorporate and focus on all three. The help of the King Creativity Fund has supplied me with the monetary needs that are inevitably associated with theater productions. The grant helped me create my own path to musical theater exposure.

In 1984, Andrew Lloyd Webber wrote a little known musical called Song and Dance. It is a charming musical whose first act is told entirely through song and second act is told entirely through dance. This first act, appropriately titled Tell Me On A Sunday after one of the most popular song titles in the act, is performed by one actress and is what I performed for my capstone project in Musical Theater.

For a project of this size, there is absolutely no way that I could create it on my own. I have neither the skills nor the time to cover all the areas that are involved in putting on a musical. I am, however, surrounded by supportive peers who are willing to help me out. I put together the following production team. All of these students have more than proven themselves as passionate, dedicated and hardworking entities of the Southwestern University Theater Department. I was extrememly blessed to have such a talented group of people who have offered their time to help me with this project. It is truly an outstanding team. Director- Andrew Richey ’05; Stage Manager- Blair Walsleben ’04; Assistant Stage Manager- Lara Terrell ’06; Set Designer- Rob Crane ’04; Light/Sound Designer- Brett Moore ’04; Costume Designer- Christopher Stout ’04.

As is the case with any artistic endeavor, changes and adjustments were made to create the most memorable theatrical experience possible. Not long after I submitted my proposal for the King Creativity Grant, Christopher Stout, another senior Theater major, approached me. He suggested that the two of us combine our energies to put on a double bill. The first act would be Tell Me On A Sunday, and the second act would be A Momentary Paralysis, a dramatic play written by Mr. Stout. Since these show coincide remarkably well and time and venue availability can be hard to come by, I eagerly agreed to expand the project.

As I had hoped, Tell Me On A Sunday and A Momentary Paralysis were well received by the community and sold out at every performance. It makes me proud to know that the work and dedication of an entirely student driven production team was able to conquer such an amazing theatrical feat.

It is my hope that, as Personals: The Musical sparked my creative interest, Tell Me On A Sunday and A Momentary Paralysis will inspire future Southwestern University thespians to take the initiative to create their own unique theatrical outlets; to show my peers that Southwestern supports creative thinking in the arts. When this happens, I will truly feel like my project was a success.