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Sonnets, Soliloquies, and Soul

  1. Thursday February 20 7:30pm
  2. Friday February 21 8:00pm
  3. Saturday February 22 8:00pm
  4. Sunday February 23 2:00pm
Walgreen Drama Center, Arthur Miller Theatre

Directed by Michael McElroy
Music direction by Michael McElroy

Shakespeare meets Motown, Gospel, Blues, and Soul In Sonnets, Soliloquies, & Soul, conceived and directed by Tony Award nominee Michael McElroy (director of the Tony Award-winning “Broadway’s Inspirational Voices”). By “colliding” the cornerstone of classic text with African-American musical genres, McElroy (with collaboration from a group of incredibly diverse Musical Theatre students) creates a new musical work that delves into the heart of the human experience--how we’ve grown, and spaces where we can still explore change.

“We are in a space and a time right now where we are so fractured,” says McElroy. “What theatre has to do right now more than ever is to fill that void. People can come together to grapple with what they believe without feeling judged or confronted. Theater and music help us to explore the ways in which we are different but more importantly how at our core very much the same. How is Shakespeare's investigation of humanity in the 1600’s the same as what we grapple with today?”

To answer that question, McElroy commissioned musical responses to Shakespeare’s sonnets and soliloquies from peers including Daniel Watts (Ike Turner from Broadway’s Tina: The Tina Turner Musical), Julianne Wick Davis (Jonathan Larson Award Winner), Crystal Monee Hall (Rent), Celisse Henderson (Godspell) Marcus Paul James (Ain’t Too Proud) and Allen Louis. Some musical responses include lines directly from Shakespeare’s text; some, like a Blues piece that’s the antithesis of the sonnet to which it responds, turn the traditional language on its head. Original text interweaves with Shakespearean sonnets, soliloquies, and new musical works, creating a song-cycle that highlights the throughlines of love, loss, hate, time, age, and jealousy that tie us together.

*This show was originally announced with the working title Being Alive.

General admission $20/$13 with student ID