New Stories

Fall Musical Insight

by Emily Buckel

It’s the end of the Fall semester and you know what that means. There’s a musical around the corner! I interviewed Brandon Farneth, senior VAPA major and director of Young Frankenstein, this year’s spring musical.

Q. What makes Young Frankenstein a good fit for Pitt-Greensburg?

A. I think that Young Frank will be a good fit because it has a lot of humor college students would enjoy.

I ended up picking Young Frankenstein because I went to see a friend of mine I did a show with the past summer and he was playing Dr Frankenstein in it. I didn’t know what it was about—I’d never seen the movie—but I really enjoyed the show, so I went to talk to Dr Schrum. He’d never seen the musical before but really enjoyed the movie, so I figured that it would be a show that we would both enjoy. I talked to Chris Bartley and he had been looking for a show with a bigger orchestra and Young Frank had that. It was something we were all excited about.

Q. What sort of work goes into the show before the audition process begins?

A. Since about the middle of this semester I’ve been having meetings with Dr Schrum about how to put together things such as a rehearsal schedule, director’s ground plan, and a concept. I can only have a basis of a schedule because I will have to take into account people’s conflicts for next semester. A director’s ground plan is sort of a layout of the different acting places that will be onstage, by making it I can relay to my scenic designer where I want things such as the castle and laboratory to be onstage. My concept is the overall theme or message I’m trying to portray through the musical.

Q. Do you have a central theme?

A. The concept is ‘Life without Love is monstrous.’

Q. When did you figure out you wanted to be a director?

A. I decided I wanted to direct a musical for a capstone probably during my sophomore year. I took directing with Dr Schrum the spring of my freshman year, I really enjoyed that and decided that I wanted to further pursue that through my capstone.

Q. What’s your favorite song from Young Frank?

A. Please Don’t Touch Me or He Vas My Boyfriend just because both of them are very humorous songs

Q. Who’s your favorite character?

A. Probably Igor, him and Frau Blooker are my favorites. They’re the funniest characters probably.

Q. I’ve heard the fly system in the theater needs checked, any particular reason?

A. No comment at the moment.

Q. What do the auditions involve?

A. We kind of stuck to what Dr. Schrum has done in the past. There will be a cold read, an improv game for the acting audition. Then for the music audition with Chris Bartley students will prepare a song and then after that they will sing scales so that Chris will know their vocal range. I also had decided to implement a dance audition as well as callbacks this year. I decided this because not only is this my first time directing so I’d like to see auditionees multiple times, but it is also our choreographer Nichole Hill’s first time choreographing a show. Since young frank is dance heavy, we want to see what level of dance the auditionees are before we cast them.

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