Singin’ in the Theatre: A Preview of Company
The Factory Theatre has hosted many good productions in the past. From Romeo and Juliet to The Last Five Years, it has always been a good mix of theatre productions. To add to the list, the Factory Theatre will be showing Company: A Musical from Feb 8-17. It revolves around Bobby, a character who is on the cusp of celebrating his 35th birthday. The difference between this play and others is that it has eleven different stories that lead up to Bobby’s birthday. There is a dynamic where there are multiple characters to follow. So in order to get what it was really like behind the scenes, I asked Jes Adam and Kaylee Gaines about their experience at the Factory Theatre and what the atmosphere was really like on the set of Company: A Musical.
Adam, the director of Company: A Musical, has directed his fair share of plays at the Factory Theatre. It will be his 12th main-stage production after coming on as the executive and artistic director of the Factory Theatre. When asked what set apart Company from different plays Adam said, “Company is a personal favorite of mine. This is my first Stephen Sondheim show to direct. Sondheim is the Jewish godfather of musical theatre with a fascinating backstory. It’s an honor and privilege to direct his work for which Sondheim won a Tony award.” When asked what the hardest thing about having a play with multiple stories and perspectives, Adam said that “it’s the actor’s job to show those perspectives. It is the challenge of theatre to create a set, period, costumes, lights, etc that creates space for the actor to capitalize their performance of the different character’s perspectives. You have to have an active imagination and desire to try new things.” With Valentine’s day around the corner, Adam felt like this would be a good show to produce so that the community will have a sense of love on their mind. One thing that Adam cannot wait for is to have the audience see his show, which he and his crew have been working on the last couple of weeks.
We hope folks will grab someone they love and attend the performance. Even if you might be single, this show has space and encouragement for you.”
Gaines, a senior majoring in music, is a part of the production team at the Factory Theatre and currently maintains the role of assistant stage manager. “Basically it means I’ve been helping prompt during the rehearsal project and running sound for shows.” This is her first time being on the production team after being in plays like Godspell last spring and Romeo and Juliet in the fall. When asked about how she first got into theatre, she said, “I’ve been involved in a lot of VBS skits through my church out of sheer necessity, but I’ve always been intrigued by acting. I came to a number of Factory Theatre shows before I ever got the nerve to audition, and seeing my friends creating magic on the stage is what I finally put it within my grasp. I’ve stuck with it because I love the family that is created when you work so closely with a group of people on a production and getting to see people respond and interact with the shows. It’s cool to act out the story, but having a responsive audience helps boost the energy in a way that nothing else does.”
When asking her thoughts on Company, she felt like she wasn’t sold on it right away. “The concept of the show wasn’t one I was immediately taken with until I saw our cast working on it during rehearsals. They have managed to give each character a unique personality and are doing a fantastic job of bringing out the comedic parts and heightening the emotion their characters are feeling so the audience almost feels with them.” Gaines, having many memories with this current production, retold of one that stood out: “I have so many favorite memories from this show that I couldn’t possibly name them all. Probably getting to see goofy, out-of-character interactions that happen during rehearsals. One night, in particular, it had been a long day and a long rehearsal, so instead of singing the final two songs the way they were supposed to be sung, the cast turned them into upbeat, goofy numbers.”
So with Company running through Feb 17, I’m hoping to see these actors and actress act their hearts out while giving the audience a performance they have never seen before. Interested in coming? You can buy tickets to the show here!