With elaborate dance numbers and an abstract plot line, The McLeod Summer Playhouse’s version of Chicago will premiere July 6-8 and 13-15 at the McLeod Theater.
Every summer for nearly forty years, the playhouse has hired actors and actresses from across the country to perform throughout the summer at the McLeod Theater. As well as providing an opportunity to showcase talent from other colleges and universities, the theater company also provides an opportunity for SIU musical theater students to stay on stage during the summer to expand their craft and earn a summer paycheck.
Samantha Myers, a senior from Murphysboro studying musical theater, will begin her second show with the theater company this summer. She said while most SIU musical theater students are required to audition for the summer playhouse, only four other SIU students made the cast of Chicago this summer.
“Even if you don’t make the cast, it’s still great practice to audition for a professional theater company,” Myers said.” Auditioning is important; you have to show your skills and get better if you want to make it in the world of musical theater.”
Josh Kimball, a senior from Benton studying musical theater, started performing with MSP when he was still in high school. Also in his second playhouse performance of the summer, he said the playhouse’s location and competitive atmosphere make auditioning in the spring a no-brainer.
“It’s close by and you’re already here,” he said. “It gives actors at SIU a good push to begin trying out for professional theater.”
Marla Schulz, a senior from Texas studying musical theater, said the playhouse played a major role in her decision to come to SIU.
“It’s in our BFA contract that we audition for pretty much everything,” she said. “But it would obviously be something I would do no matter what, it’s just a great opportunity and it’s one of the main reasons I decided to come SIU in the first place.”
Directed and choreographed by J. Thomas Kidd, chair of the Department of Theater at SIU, Chicago will begin at 7:30 pm Friday night at McLeod Theater.