Performing arts departments unite

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Pacific students in the music, theatre and dance departments are stepping into sin this week.
Student performers in varied disciplines are coming together to bring the PG-13 musical 7 Deadly Sins to the stage tonight and Friday at 7:30 p.m. in Taylor-Meade Performing Arts Center.
The fun and sometimes-racy musical numbers with coordinating choreography put a humorous spin on the seven most objectionable vices as determined by the Christian religious tradition—wrath, greed, sloth, pride, lust, envy and gluttony.
The cast and directors have been working hard throughout the month of January to fine-tune their performance for the stage, which is a clever combination of musical theater and classical repertoire.
Director Angela Niederloh said this play has been a year in the making. She has helped with musicals almost every year since she started teaching at Pacific, and starts planning for the next show as soon as one ends. She starts getting ideas, gathering music and thinking about which students would match well with certain songs before finalizing plans.
“You have a certain vision as director that looks so-so on paper. To see someone take that information and run with it, and make it their own—that’s exciting,” said Niederloh.
During the winter break, Niederloh sent a packet of music to all students who committed to the play. The last half of December, they were busy becoming familiarized with the music and when they arrived back on campus in early January, they were ready to hit the stage running.
These students have dedicated their winter term to rehearsals with at least three-hour practices Monday through Friday, and while everyone else was enjoying a break the last week of January, these students were in Taylor-Meade, preparing. While sicknesses have been running through the cast and interrupting some of their flow, rehearsals have been largely glitch-free.
Niederloh said directing is a pleasure with the help of her cast, musical director Janet Coleman and student choreographers Tara Velarde, Eric Asakawa and Katie Gillem, who choreographed the majority of the numbers, dedicating several months to the production.
Asakawa, a first-year Pacific student currently pursuing a degree in music with a minor in dance, said “It has been a really great growth opportunity for me,” said Asakawa, who choreographed several numbers. “I am proud of all the work we’ve done. I’m surprised it came together this fast, actually.”
“I’m constantly being surprised by everyone’s talents,” said Asakawa.
Niederloh agreed and said one of the best aspects of the play so far has been the great cast and the collaborative effort between departments.
“Having people that come from different backgrounds means we can learn from each other. Students get to interact with those they normally don’t,” said Niederloh. “We’re getting in touch with the student body in terms of where talents lie and how they’ll be best highlighted. We nurture and hone students crafts so they can spread their wings.”
“As the departments grow we look forward to having more collaboration,” Neiderloh added.
Niederloh is confident the musical will be fun and enjoyable.
Asakawa is nervous but admits he draws energy from a crowd. So come support him and the other cast members who dedicated the month to preparing the musical stage.
Student tickets are $5 and can be purchased at the Taylor-Meade Performing Arts Center Box Office.


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