Musical Theatre Repertory (MTR) was started 6 years ago by Lili Fuller and Steve Edlund, alums of USC, to provide more musical theater opportunities to students. MTR’s goal is to showcase “innovative, high quality musical theater for students bystudents” by presenting 2-3 musicals per school year. There seems to be a stigma about musical theater that it is all “pretty songs and spectacle with nothing substantial.” MTR is trying to dispel this myth by showing the universality of the human condition through music, lyrics and movement. Previous shows have included A Little Night Music, Edges, Urinetown, See What I Wanna See, and many more.
Matt McFarland is directing All Girl Band. There are so few “deep, emotionally rich parts” written for females, School of Theater shows tend to be very male heavy shows. In response to this, Matt searched for female driven musicals and found very few that met all of his criteria. Instead, he created something completely new-All Girl Band. When asked why he chose to present All Girl Band, Matt said “I really wanted to do something female heavy. There is such an overwhelming amount of female musical theater talent here at USC, not just in the theater school or in the music school [but] at large. There are so many women who are interested, and they are so good.”
Auditions began in August of this year. Each girl was given six weeks to learn their song on a musical level and then rehearsed with Matt to deal with the song on an emotional level. All Girl Band was challenging because “we had to craft a whole play in a 3 minute song and be able to transition to the next one. I want people to walk away overwhelmed by the 15 well crafted, diverse stories told through song.”
In addition to spreading the joy of musical theater, MTR is giving back to the musical theater community at large. Proceeds from the show are going to Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDs, a nonprofit theater organization founded in 1988 in response to the AIDS crisis. The funds from BC/EFA provide assistance to professionals in the entertainment industry dealing with AIDS and HIV related issues as well as providing grants to community-based AIDs organizations throughout the country. Since 1988, BC/EFA has raised $195 million.
There is a suggested $5 donation at the door going to Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDs. Please note that Thursday and Friday night shows have 11pm performances.
*Article originally posted here