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Student Blog: There's No Place Like Home...Again!

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What’s it like to play the same role again but after two and a half years of studying at a musical theatre BFA program? Here'a my experience!

Student Blog: There's No Place Like Home...Again!

When a musical has a special place in your heart, you treasure it. If you're fortunate enough to be in a production of it, you know it's an experience you'll never forget. Now if you're really lucky, you'll have the opportunity to be in that show once again. That musical for me is The Wizard of Oz.

In my senior year of high school, I went down the Yellow Brick Road as "Dorothy" in our production of the show. As a junior musical theatre major at LIU Post, I'm putting on my Ruby Slippers and braiding my hair again as I reprise the role in Plaza Theatrical Inc's production throughout December 2021.

But a different production with the same role and show means a whole lot of work in many ways. There were definitely certain aspects that came back to me naturally, such as the way my Dorothy walks and talks. I also remembered all of the character analysis and development I put into her, like her relationships with the other characters and her "moment before" the show begins.

As comfortable as I felt stepping back into the same role as before, there were several parts that had to be relearned for this production. With another version of a script, different blocking and choreography, and new cast mates, the entire show was different. Additionally, in my high school production, our cast was the size of over forty actors, whereas this production features a cast of eight actors.

After almost three years of studying for my BFA in musical theatre, it was exciting to see what new discoveries I found. An instance of this was as I worked on "Over the Rainbow," I found myself re-analyzing the song. I never thought I would do something like that with such a classic song that everyone knows the lyrics to, but I learned that this song has such a specific purpose in the musical and that it has its own beginning, middle, and end which incites the rest of the show.

So many of the classes I've taken the past few years have helped me develop my own process for approaching a role. My acting classes have helped me utilize objectives and tactics within scenes, my musical theatre class taught me about breaking down a song and finding the different colors within it, my classes from this semester have really pushed me to maintain physical engagement while performing, working with personal sources to connect to material, and working towards being an active scene partner. Our program at LIU Post has a lot of Suzuki training, and I found myself backstage working on different techniques we learned to maintain my physicality, alertness, and "ready for anything" mentality before walking on stage.

Another big difference between the production I'm in now versus the one from high school is the effect of Covid-19. My senior year, we never would've imagined a world where an audience would be full of people wearing masks, yet here we are today with mask mandates and Covid-19 guidelines to follow. It's a bit heartbreaking to see children dressed up in Wizard of Oz costumes in the audience and knowing we can't do the traditional meet and greet with them. However, I feel so much love and gratitude towards the amazing parents who still choose to bring their kids to see live theatre and art in this day and age.

My biggest takeaway from this experience is gratefulness. I am so glad I've been able to reprise a role in a show that means so much to me, while also having the opportunity to use my training from the past three years and bring live entertainment to people of all ages. There truly is no place like home, and for me, that's the stage.


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From This Author Student Blogger: Rebecca Goldfarb