To Thine Own Self Be True: Looking Back at Grebel’s Student-Led Musical “Something Rotten!”
In the beginning of April, Grebel students took the stage and held four performances of the Broadway musical comedy “Something Rotten!” Due to the pandemic, Grebel’s last student-led musical, “Big Fish” was adapted to be a livestreamed performance, so this year’s musical was the first time since 2019 that Grebelites gathered in the theatre.
As a big theatrical return for Grebel students, “Something Rotten!” fit the bill perfectly. “We picked this show because we wanted something fun, energetic, and entertaining that people could really laugh at,” said Colin Ens Funk and Savannah Edwards, co-directors of the production. “It is filled to the brim with both Shakespearean and modern musical references and embedded with important life lessons. From Nick and Nigel's intertwined journeys, we re-learn the values of being true to ourselves and relying on our friends and family, especially in times of need.”
Together, Funk and more than 60 students—including cast, crew, orchestra, and a myriad of student helpers—completely embraced this year-long effort. Key details and preparations for the project were made in fall of 2021. Auditions and casting started in fall 2022, and January 2023 was when all the pieces were put together and rehearsals began. This group of dedicated students balanced this project amidst their studies, midterms, and other extracurricular activities to put on an entertaining show — sure to create lifelong memories for both the students involved as well as the audience.
Grebel students, friends, family, and staff filled the theatre for each performance. It was a highly anticipated show, with audience members coming in from all over Canada. As people took their seats and the live orchestra overture began, spirits were high and excited chatter filled the air. For some of the cast, the stage is a familiar place where they thrive. There were also many first-year students who joined the cast that went out of their comfort zone and blew the audience away with their incredible character portrayal and singing. The playful dynamic between the characters, and unexpected interactions with the audience made for a joyous and farcical show.
By Farah Jurdi