Spring 2014: Kiss Me, Kate
Music and Lyrics by Cole Porter, Book by Bella & Samuel Spewack
Passions run high as leading lady Lilli Vanessi and her ex-husband, actor/director Fred Graham, battle onstage and off in a production of Shakespeare's Taming of the Shrew. With romance, comedy, sophistication, and behind-the-scenes high jinks, Kiss Me, Kate combines the irreverent humor of four brilliant writers: Sam and Bella Spewack, Cole Porter and William Shakespeare.
Pops (Stage Doorman)/Padua Priest
Ethel (Stage Manager
Grace (Dance Captain)/Gregory
Earl (Cab Driver)/Nathaniel
General Harrison Howell
Ruby (Aide to General Howell)
Riley (Aide to General Howell)
Frances (Wardrobe Lady)
Asst. Business Manager
Ashley Houze &
Quinn Gomola Mullin
Producer's Note: Katie Thompson
I originally joined First Year Players as a first year that enjoyed musical theater, but I was looking for a position with a small time commitment. Little did I know I would find my home with FYP and eventually become the Producer of this fantastic organization. Throughout my past three years with FYP, I have seen bits and pieces of the dedication and talent that it takes to put on a show. This semester, however, I witnessed the amount of hard work that goes into putting on a show from all aspects, from late nights painting in the Student Activities Building (the concrete warehouse you are all sitting in) to the long and strenuous cast and pit rehearsals, to planning fundraising events, and everything in between.
I would like to take this opportunity to express my overwhelming gratitude for those who made this show possible. First and foremost, I’d like to thank our Business Manager, Jared Morgan. You have been my right hand man throughout this entire process. I couldn't ask for a better friend to bounce ideas off of or to let me play "good cop" for once. To our Technical Director Ashley Gilroy, you have effectively led a huge new group of First Years to love FYP and you have created a space for this exciting show to come to life. To all of my Production Staff, your drive to continue to improve FYP is absolutely inspiring. Without you, we wouldn't have been able to host FYPhormal or have extremely successful fundraising events like the Kiss Me, Date Auction! Kyle Ruempler, the Pit Director, you have been amazing in every way, and integral to further incorporating Pit into active social members of FYP. Thank you for all of your help so that I can truly be a Pit Enthusiast. Many thanks go to our incredible Director, Theresa Pazanowski. You have put your heart and soul into this show, and your vision comes alive vividly on stage. However, your talents do not stop at directing. You exemplify a perfect passion for FYP and all that it represents—camaraderie, being who you are, and loving musical theatre. You have passed this passion to your casties and countless others in FYP, myself included. I am truly lucky to consider you my friend. Finally, to all the incredible people that make up the community that is FYP. We could not have put on this show without every single one of you.
First Year Players is built on people who truly care about the quality of the show we present at the end of every semester, and Kiss Me, Kate! is no exception. I am honored to be part of such a fine organization and a loving, welcoming community. Thank you all for coming to support FYP as we proudly present our Spring 2014 Production of Cole Porter’s Kiss Me, Kate! Enjoy the show!
Director's Note: Theresa Pazanowski
When I gathered the cast and artistic staff of Kiss Me, Kate together for the first time, I told them I had two goals for this production. The first was to push everyone involved in the show, including myself, to do something that scared them and help them overcome those fears. The second was to make this show as much fun as it could be, a true celebration of theatre for us as well as the audience. I can only speak for myself, but almost three months later I believe we have accomplished both of these goals.
For a musical comedy, Kiss Me, Kate can seem rather complex. There are intricate backstories between characters, Shakespearean text intermingling with modern speech, a show within a show within a show, and song lyrics by the great Cole Porter, the king of sophisticated rhymes and double meanings. All of this is part of what makes this such a brilliant and fun show. However, underneath all these complexities exists a beautiful simplicity. The characters love each other despite their flaws, and in the end that is all that matters. The ensemble sings and dances for its own enjoyment while the audience just happens to be watching. Most importantly, everyone in the show makes up an ensemble of people working for a common goal, and despite the individual conflicts, everyone really is in it together.
The process of putting together this show has been such a crazy ride, but I would not have traded this experience for the world. It has been so much fun, and I sincerely hope that everyone else involved in the production feels the same. To my insanely talented cast and my unbelievably wonderful a-staff: as much as everything I have done along the way has been for you guys, this never would have happened without you, so thank you for taking the leap with me. I am so proud of all of you, and I hope you really did overcome that fear as I overcame mine. And with that, it’s time for another op’nin of another show…