Department of Theatre & Dance at Northern Kentucky University to Present SOUTH PACIFIC, 10/24-11/3
The Department of Theatre & Dance at Northern Kentucky University is proud to present Rodgers & Hammerstein's South Pacific directed by Mike King in the NKU Corbett Theatre. This production runs Oct. 24 - Nov. 3, 2013.
Set on an island military base during World War II, SOUTH PACIFIC follows two parallel love stories that are threatened by the dangers of prejudice and war. Nellie, a spunky nurse from Arkansas, falls in love with a mature French planter, Emile. Meanwhile, the handsome Lt. Joe Cable falls in love with an innocent Tonkinese girl. To find happiness these young lovers will have to challenge the values their society has "carefully taught" them.
Mike King is at the helm, directing this classic Rodgers & Hammerstein masterpiece. We asked King to elaborate on the show and the process with his cast.
What is your favorite aspect of South Pacific?
It's hard to say, but I think my favorite part of the show is the score. It contains so many memorable songs: Some Enchanted Evening, There is Nothing Like a Dame, Younger than Springtime, Cockeyed Optimist...and the list goes on and on. But I also really love the show's book. It is a very serious story for this time period, with a subject-racism-that was especially difficult to deal with. Rodgers and Hammerstein are so well known for The Sound of Music, that many people don't realize how innovative and edgy they were for their time period. They were pressured by producers to soften South Pacific's message, but fortunately they stood their ground.
With such an iconic musical, what did you look for in your actors when they auditioned?
I looked for the things I usually look for. I looked for actors who could sing the songs. I looked for performers with strong dance skills. And, since the book scenes in this musical are so important, I looked for people with strong acting skills. It was exciting to find so many performers with all those skills.
What research did you do to prepare for directing South Pacific?
One of the most important pieces of research I did was reading James Michener's Tales of the South Pacific, the source material for the show. I felt that really helped me understand the thoughts of some of the characters, their backgrounds, and the importance of the events that ended up being dramatized in the show. The extra insights from the book helped a great deal in directing the show.
Is there anything about the process of South Pacific that surprised you?
The process has been full of wonderful surprises. The production staff is full of new faces (or at least folks I hadn't worked with before)-music director Damon Stevens, choreographer Jay Goodlett, lighting designer Jonathan Fuchs, and costume designer Ronnie Chamberlain. It's been great to work with such talented artists. And the cast is full of new faces too, along with performers audiences have seen in other shows
Allysun (Ally) Mellick, one of the many talented actors in the cast, plays the role of Nellie Forbush. Ally is no stranger to the musical having fallen in love with the show and with performing after her mother took her to see South Pacific when she was a kid. Now she gets to take on the role of the fun and sassy Nellie. "Nellie is a very complex character but I do feel that I share similar traits with her. She is a country girl from a small town just like me and we are both fun- loving and easy going. I would even like to say that we are both Cockeyed Optimists! Becoming Nellie Forbush has been a blast because I do get to put a little of myself into the role."-Mellick
Come relive the beauty and majesty of this one of a kind golden age musical. The show times are based on the days of the week. Wednesday - Saturday performances are at 8pm. Sunday performances are matinees and will start at 3pm.
For more information call the NKU Fine Arts Box Office at 859.572.5464 or go to www.Theatre.nku.edu.