Check out the creative brains behind the 117th Varsity Show
In anticipation of this year’s Varsity Show, we will be interviewing members from both the creative team and cast. To kick it off, we chatted with director and third-time Varsity Show-er Emily Nagel, CC ’12, about the challenges of her position, memorable rehearsal moments, and what we can expect from V117.
Spectrum: This is your third Varsity Show. Why do you keep coming back for more?
Emily Nagel: I think part of it was that I was a huge nerd. When I saw the preview of V114 on days on campus, I knew it was something that I wanted to be a part of. And I actually—like a huge nerd—e-mailed the producers, “This is wonderful, I want to be part of it!”
I think it’s just a really wonderful tradition, and it’s one of the few times a year that people get to come together on campus and sort of laugh at ourselves. I just love making that happen. In terms of theater, it’s an experience unlike any other theater production on this campus.
Spectrum: Did you have to try out for your position?
EN: Before I had been on the production team, so I still had to go through all of the same sort of kooks that everyone else had to go through—starting with interviews, then auditioning, actually directing a scene, and doing another interview.
Spectrum: What has been your greatest challenge as director?
EN: I realized that directing the Varsity Show is like being a mom to 12 kids and a wife to 8 husbands—it’s a challenge to coordinate so many people in the creation of a work of art because we all have creative minds and we all have brilliant ideas. It’s part of the director’s job to funnel that all into one thing, so I think that’s the biggest challenge: balancing all of the plates, but that’s also a fun challenge.
Spectrum: Are you considering a career in theater?
EN: I’m not sure. I’m majoring in theater and I should be doing my thesis in playwriting. I’m hoping to do something in theater. I’ve been doing a lot of work in educational theater, working with small children and teaching them music and dance.
Spectrum: What has been the most memorable moment so far?
EN: Towards the beginning I wanted the actors to get outside of themselves, so we were doing a silly warm-up and one of the things I said was to cross the floor like a giraffe. It was astounding what they thought giraffes looked like. We all still laugh about it. They looked like dinosaurs, they looked like horses, but not one of them remotely resembled a giraffe.
Spectrum: Any notable differences from last year’s show?
EN: It’s such an organic process and things change so much from creative team to creative team. I think we get along so well and we’re sort of naturally on the same page—I think that’s really a blessing to have in this process.
Spectrum: What will this year’s show have in store?
EN: This year’s show is going to have lots of great music and lots of great dancing and lots of great jokes as per usual. We’re gonna bring the funny and our cast is more talented than any 12 people should be.
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