Shakespeare and Musicals and Plays, Oh My!

by Amille Bottom

photography courtesy of BU Stage Troupe

Boston University is lucky to have an abundance of theater and music organizations that perform around campus, from the classical plays put on by the Shakespeare Society to the sweet melodies sung by student theater groups BU On Broadway and Stage Troupe. This fall semester, BU students can help themselves to a bounty of productions, right up to the start of finals.

Theater is a great way to embrace the stories of the past, present, and future. With all that these three organizations offer, there’s a little something for everyone! Warning: Spoilers for various musicals lie ahead!

Stage Troupe, Boston University’s oldest and largest extracurricular theater group, has two major performances coming up this semester: The Nerd and Hair. These shows follow their first production of the semester, Footloose, held during Family & Friends Weekend.

A comedy unlike any other, The Nerd is a play full of trickery and deceit. It centers around Willum Cubbert, an architect, and his friends, Tansy and Axel. Things in Willum’s life begin to get crazy when, in the midst of a dinner party, the man that saved his life in Vietnam, Rick Steadman, shows up. Rick wreaks havoc on Willum’s life over the course of the next few weeks, pushing Willum to recognize the most important priority in his adulthood -- his love for Tansy. Soon, it is revealed to the audience that the man claiming to be “Rick Steadman” is actually an actor hired by Axel, who stated that Willum “just needed to have his life interfered with a little.” This play is sure to cause a lot of laughs, so it’s the perfect activity for a weekend with friends! Catch it November 1 through 3 at The Student Theater.

Rounding off Stage Troupe’s fall season is the musical Hair, an empowering story about the strength of peace and love. The show, which will be showing November 15 through 17 at The Student Theater, follows the lives of a young “tribe” of hippies living in New York City during the Vietnam War. The musical portrays the struggle many young people feel as they decide whether or not to follow the path of their dreams, or to conform to society’s wishes. Claude, the central character, must choose between a life of drug-induced ecstasy and resistance, or society’s expectation of him when he receives his draft notice. Chalk full of inspiration, Hair is the perfect pick-me-up for any college student!

Continuing with the theme of musicals is BU On Broadway, one of Boston University’s premiere musical theater organizations! This fall, BUOB will be performing both Carrie and Big Fish!

Looking for a Halloween live-performance thriller? Look no further than BU On Broadway’s production of Carrie, a haunting musical centered around teenage Carrie, who possesses telekinetic powers. An outcast at school and a smothered child at home, Carrie seemingly has no place in this world. Despite the love of her classmate Sue Snell, her boyfriend Tommy Ross and her teacher Miss Gardner, Carrie can’t control the rage and animalistic fear she feels inside when she is pushed to her breaking point. The musical, which will leave you feeling chilled to the bone, ends in Carrie brutally murdering her classmates. It’s the perfect end to spooky season, and the detail the cast and crew put in to every aspect of the show will have each audience member leaving in a state of wonder. The show will take place November 1 through 3 at the Tsai Performance Center.

“I’m the most excited for people to see the prom scene, as anybody would be for a production of Carrie,” said Head Costume Designer, Matthew Dalton (CGS ‘21). “Clothing on a person isn’t really a grand and brand-new concept, but they add a whole lot more depth to who they are with the use of color, fit and style, so getting to bring that out in a formal and fun setting like prom is a really cool project to be working on!”

While a Halloween horror can be fun, BU On Broadway understands that terror and fright are not for everyone. Its production of Big Fish, which will be performed December 6 through 8 at The Student Theater, is the perfect pre-finals pick me up. It tells a heartwarming story of commitment to family, the wonders of magic and the utmost importance of love.

In the midst of the musical fun, we can’t forget the playwright that helped facilitate the rise of theater in the first place: William Shakespeare. BU’s Shakespeare Society will be performing As You Like It and Macbeth this season. The two plays, which both revolve around betrayal, love and danger, are a great way to escape into another world this fall. As You Like It will be presented on November 8 through 10 in The Student Theater and Macbeth will be performed on December 6 through 8 in the GSU Conference Auditorium.