Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Follow SDSU  Follow SDSU on Twitter Follow SDSU on Facebook Follow SDSU on Google+ SDSU RSS Feed

The cast of SDSU's production of "Company" (Photo: Ken Jacques) The cast of SDSU's production of "Company" (Photo: Ken Jacques)
 


Tony Award-Winning Musical Comes to SDSU

The production marks the 35th anniversary of the MFA Musical Theatre program at SDSU.
By Lizbeth Persons Price
 

The Tony Award-winning musical “Company,” presented by the San Diego State University School of Theatre, Television, and Film, comes to the SDSU Experimental Theatre Friday, March 9 through Saturday, March 17.

In “Company,” confirmed bachelor Robert contemplates his unmarried state on the night of his 35th birthday. Over the course of a series of dinners, drinks, and even a wedding, his friends explain the pros and cons of marriage, while Robert questions his bachelorhood during a hilarious array of interactions.

Reimagining for a new audience

Although the musical was written in 1970, one of the play’s major themes rings true today: the challenge of creating and maintaining relationships in a society becoming increasingly depersonalized.

“In our production at SDSU, we are focusing on how Robert's dating life, relationships, and communication are affected by smartphones, the internet, and social media” said Stephen Brotebeck, director of the production. “It is fascinating that a script written almost 50 years ago lends itself so well to exploring how our current society is navigating the same issues, with even more obstacles in the way.”

MFA Musical Theatre candidate Jonathan Brugioni, who plays the character of birthday boy Robert, concurs.

“On stage, and in real life, it's harder to listen than it is to speak, and Robert must lead the audience through the story by simply listening, observing, and experiencing other people's relationships,” said Brugioni. “Social media and technology often cause us to lose authentic connection as people. However, with those challenges comes the exhilarating opportunity to experience the many diverse moments that lead to Robert finally choosing his own powerful ending.”

Anniversary of the MFA Musical Theatre program

As the character  Robert celebrates his 35th birthday, the SDSU MFA Musical Theatre program is coincidentally celebrating its 35th year. Since its inception in 1981, the MFA Musical Theatre program at SDSU has seen nearly 130 scholar-artists graduate.

The 2018 cohort of eight students, who are all cast members in “Company,” will graduate in May.

“I get the unique experience of having very personal moments on stage with each one of my seven colleagues, which is truly a special way for me to end my MFA experience at SDSU," said Brugioni.

Tickets are $20 for general, $17 for students and seniors and can be purchased online at theatre.sdsu.edu.