by Natalie Walden
The spring semester has come to an end and for any student this is a huge relief -- no more lectures, no more late-night study sessions, and no more 8 AM classes (this was honestly what I was most excited for). However, for me, it also usually means a three-month hiatus from performing. As the musical director of The Coda conduct, a participant in No Refund Theatre, and a vocal performance minor, almost every day and night of my week was filled with singing when school was in session. During the past few of summers, my days were usually jam packed with internships or full-time work instead…this left little room (or energy) for me to perform. To be honest, I went through performing arts withdrawals. Singing keeps me happy. Singing keeps me sane, and 3 months without it…well, that was a lot. This summer, I decided to make a change.
Near the end of the school year I learned about State College Community Theatre and discovered that they would be putting on a musical, The Drowsy Chaperone, over the summer. This would provide me with not only an opportunity to perform, but also an opportunity to meet some truly awesome people who love to perform, as well. Soon after the crazy whirlwind of auditions and final exams, our rehearsal process began.
From 8 AM to 5 PM, I would spend my time interning in an office and devote my evenings rehearsing with our incredibly talented cast. To be honest, I kind of felt like I was living a Jekyll and Hyde/Hannah Montana-esque kind of double life. By day, I was an ordinary student intern, but by night, I was Trix, a sassy airplane pilot that belts her face off. I spent my days in an office, but I spent my nights in the kooky, crazy world of the 1920’s, dancing and singing the catchy songs from The Drowsy Chaperone.
I of course grew to love the hilarity and craziness of the show, but I also felt as though I became a bigger part of the State College community, working and singing alongside community members who have the same love of performing that I do. Leading my double-life has been exhausting at times, but I know it will all be worth it when the curtains rise on Thursday night and we show State College the amazing, hilarious, fun show we have put together. The Drowsy Chaperone is full of hilarious moments (directed by Seth Sponhouse), insane stunts (thanks to Kat Shondeck), and upbeat songs (musically directed by Matt Shaffer) that are sure to be stuck in your head long after the show is over. They've been playing in my head on repeat since rehearsals started!
The Drowsy Chaperone is playing at the State Theatre June 16, 17, 18 at 8 PM, June 18 at 2 PM, and June 19 at 3 PM. Tickets are available online at https://web.ovationtix.com/trs/pr/953369