Spring 2012: How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying
Music and Lyrics by Frank Loesser, Book by Abe Burrows, Jake Weinstock, and Willie Gilbert
A satire of big business and all it holds sacred, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying follows the rise of J. Pierrepont Finch, who uses a little handbook called How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying to climb the corporate ladder from lowly window washer to high-powered executive, tackling such familiar but potent dangers as the aggressively compliant "company man," the office party, backstabbing coworkers, caffeine addiction and, of course, true love.
Mr. Jenkins/Voice of Book
Mr. Twimble/Wally Womper
Peggy, Dance Captain
Mr. Gatch/Mr. Ovington
J. Pierrepont Finch
Jared D. Morgan
Thaddeus J. Potter
Asst. Business Manager
Anna “Babs” Schneider
Asst. Technical Directors
Head Costumer Designer
Asst. Costumer Designers
Head Hair/Make Up
Asst. Hair/Make Up
Run Crew Chiefs
Quinn Gomola Mullin
Producer's Note: Nick Everington
Welcome to FYP Presents: How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying! We’re so happy to have you join us for what will no doubt be a splendid performance. I’d like to take some time to thank those who have made this production possible, as well as reflect on this semester in First Year Players.
We are exceptionally fortunate to have in Katie Ulmer a director who has thrown herself into this production more than I could have thought possible. Katie, you’ve done more for this organization than I could ever have asked for, and I am so grateful that this is how you have chosen to spend your last semester at UVa. Lauren Lukow has been fantastic as Assistant Producer, making this hectic semester run a little smoother and I’ve been incredibly grateful to have her around.
Alex Cooper, you have been an exceptional Technical Director, thank you so much for the countless hours you have put in over the past seven weeks. I would also like to thank my friends Luke Brennan and Ryan Richardson for their unwavering support this semester, you two always believed in me and although, trust me, I do not have the hardest job in this organization, I could not have done it without you both. When I ran for the position of Producer, I spoke about challenging FYP more than it has been in the past.
This semester has been unique for two reasons; first of all, How to Succeed has been prepared in a little over seven weeks – far shorter than the usual preparation period of an FYP show. This is a phenomenal achievement for the cast, tech, pit and A-staff, and of course the organization as a whole. We took on a challenge this semester and I’m proud to say that everyone in FYP rose to it. That is really what FYP is about, taking on a monumental task and getting through it by supporting each other along the way.
I’ve been involved in FYP for three years and yet it wasn’t until this semester, my first as Producer that I truly noticed how much goes into a show like this. It has been a truly humbling experience. The second reason why this semester is unique is that, unusually, we are producing a show that is currently on Broadway. How to Succeed has a national excitement about it, and it is an absolute delight to be a part of this frenzy. I hope that you feel as much a part of it tonight as we do.
Enjoy the show!
Director's Note: Katie Ulmer
I have been involved with FYP since my first semester, first year. I joined and participated primarily as a member of the technical staff, but proposing to direct a show for this organization is something that I always dreamed about. Since getting the position, people often ask me, why did you choose How to Succeed In Business Without Really Trying?
I saw the show for the first time about a year ago when I saw the Broadway revival with Daniel Radcliffe. I have to admit that it was my love of Harry Potter that got me into the theater, but it only took me two minutes to realize there was something special about this show. When it was over, it easy claimed a spot as one of my favorite shows of all time. It is so much fun and is so entertaining that you can’t help but enjoy every minute. When I was looking back through the playbill after the show was over, I couldn’t help but think that it would be a perfect show for FYP. It is a true ensemble show that allows everyone to have a hilariously great time, whether you are performing or watching.
The story follows J. Pierrepont Finch, a young window washer who finds a book that helps him rise to the top of the corporate ladder. The story follows him as he progresses chapter by chapter into higher positions at the World Wide Wicket Company in a matter of weeks. The show is a satire of the early-1960s business centered world, and so along the way, the audience is introduced to different personifications of stereotypical businessmen and practices from the 1960s.
Other than the fact that How to Succeed is pure enjoyment from the Overture to the bows, I was also drawn to the themes that the story presents. I found them relatable not only to today’s society, but especially to young adults at schools such as UVA. Underneath all of Finch’s actions lies ambition, determination, and desire to succeed and improve, which is a common trait of all students that attend UVA, and something to which the first years could personally relate. They are all starting fresh at a new school and they are eager to rise to the top and make the most of their experience.
I am extremely proud of everyone in this organization and all of the work that they have put into this production whether it is as a member of the cast, artistic staff, technical crew, pit, or production staff. Every single member of this organization has made this show what you see tonight, and it is because of each and every one of them that we were able to produce this show in just a matter of seven weeks. Students producing full-length musicals without any faculty supervision is a daunting task, but when you shorten the rehearsal and design process to just seven weeks, it becomes an incredible undertaking. I am happy to say that it is an undertaking that everyone rose to meet and one that everyone faced head-on in order to make the show a wonderful success, and I want to personally thank them all for their hard work and support. Thank you all so much for coming to support this organization and our production of How to Succeed In Business Without Really Trying. Enjoy the show!