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University Theater’s production of ‘[title of show]’ capitalizes on its concept of Shakespeare’s ‘play within a play’ to maximize the script’s tongue-in-cheek humor.[/media-credit]

For the past two years, Fox’s television show “Glee” has captured the hearts of viewers for one particular reason: Many find the characters relatable. After a round of shows in July, starting Sept. 9 University Theatre will offer this same experience with its production of [title of show].

After making its debut on Broadway in July 2008, this Tony-nominated musical is about two men struggling to write a performance under a tight deadline who end up channeling their dire situation into the storyline. In regard to the experience of a never-ending ticking clock, cast members Haley Kosup-Kennedy, Stuart Mott and Alli Rekow all agreed the storyline was very relatable.

“Each person embodies a completely different personality. … Each character has a lot of individuality that they bring that people could latch on to,” Kosup-Kennedy said.

Production for [title of show] began in early summer when University of Wisconsin theater majors Kosup-Kennedy, Mott, Rekow and UW alumnus Chris Tiernan were cast after hearing about the show through the theater department.

After many weeks of intense rehearsal, the cast was ready to perform. 

“Going into the run, we felt really confident, and just hit our stride,” Mott said.

While the cast has remained faithful to the original script, the actors have brought their own sense of interpretation into their performance of the show.

“A lot of it is about humor and characters talking to each other in a natural way, and everyone has their own unique sense of humor … and their own way of speaking and communicating. For that factor, we’ve all brought something a little different to the table than what the original cast had,” Rekow said.

In regard to their opinion of a well-performed play, each cast member had a different opinion, but all agreed that these many aspects were indeed present in [title of show].

“It depends on what style; [title of show] is a comedy, so the first thing I ask myself is does it make me laugh, and the [title of show] does. … The story develops in a way that makes you invested in these characters, and by the end you get a meaning and significance out of it, and it actually goes from comedy to something kind of touching,” Mott said.

Rekow argued that a play should aim to capture an audience’s attention. 

“What you really want is for people to walk out at the end and not only have them enjoy sitting through the performance … but maybe give them a little something to think about. … I think we do that,” Rekow said.

A third aspect Kosup-Kennedy discussed was the relationship between the castmates on stage. 

“When people, as a whole, have strong chemistry, I get sucked in because I become involved, because they’re involved and focused,” Kosup-Kennedy said.

Kosup-Kennedy, Mott and Rekow all unanimously agreed that the chemistry between themselves and Tiernan was excellent.  

“I think it’s very rare to see four people with as much chemistry as we have. … I think that shows in performance, that we do love each other and care about each other,” Kosup-Kennedy said.

Three of the castmates had also worked with each other in University Theatre’s production of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” this past winter. However, unlike “Rocky Horror” and other theatrical experiences they have had, they feel [title of show] is unique.

“It’s such a different musical from any other musical: There’s no big dance number, just a solo keyboard on the stage. … It’s very simple,” Kosup-Kennedy said.

Having just made its debut in 2004 theater festivals, the play was also fairly modern, which shows through the writing. 

“It’s a modern show; the writing is very conversational. It reminds me of the way I talk to my friends,” Rekow said.

The cast members would agree that what makes the show most appealing is the overall message: Do something that you are passionate about and believe in.

“We … are afraid of people not understanding us, and it is a message for people to do what they believe in. Everyone else can do what everybody else thinks is funny, but only you get to say something you believe in and created,” Kosup-Kennedy said.

Rekow could not agree more. 

“It’s a show about people going after their dreams … doing something that matters,” she said. “Everyone would like to think that they have the courage to go after their own personal ambitions.”

For more information regarding the show and to purchase tickets visit www.utmadison.com.