VCT to debut original musical about Vermillion Production
communityâ�?�?s 150th anniversary By Patrick Morrison
Yankton Media, Inc. Vermillionâ�?�?s history will unfold on stage this July as the Vermillion Community Theatre debuts its production of â�?�?In Every Generation: An Original Musical Photograph.â�? Written and produced entirely by the local community and the VCT, â�?�?In Every Generationâ�? will chronicle the history of Vermillion from its earliest days, Head Writer Steve Miller, the musicalâ�?�?s head writer, said. â�?�?Itâ�?�?s basically historical fiction,â�? Miller said. â�?�?We use real names, real places and real things that happened, but we fictionalize them. Weâ�?�?re trying to create the idea of history and keep it playful and fun.â�? Miller said the production is a â�?�?musical photographâ�? because the story will be told through the photo album of a fictional local family. The production will be narrated through the eyes of the Weavers, a fictional family created by the writing staff. As the photos are explained, the cast will act out the scene in that particular photograph. â�?�?You will see actual photographs of Vermillion throughout the show that are blended into the script,â�? Miller said. â�?�?Our set designer actually built a screen into the set so when a narrator talks about a photograph, you will see the photograph as itâ�?�?s acted out.â�? Miller added that in some cases, descendants of the characters used in the production are either in the musical or still part of the Vermillion community. â�?�?There are actually a few names of families that we are delicately using, but most of the names of individuals we use lived prior to World War II,â�? he said. â�?�?This was purposeful so we donâ�?�?t have anyone portrayed on stage that is sitting out in the audience.â�? The historical nature of â�?�?In Every Generationâ�? is in no way a coincidence to the celebration of Vermillionâ�?�?s Sesquicentennial this year, Miller said. â�?�?A few years ago, we thought, â�?�?Hey, lets do a musical on the history of Vermillion to celebrate the 150th anniversary,â�?â�?�? Miller said. â�?�?This will be a nice piece to fit into the celebration.â�? Anthony Burbach, president of the VCT and musical director for â�?�?In Every Generation,â�? said the VCT began preparations for the production by recruiting Rachel Foulks to direct the show. â�?�?When we pick a show, we like to find a director who is a new face and who can bring a fresh perspective,â�? Burbach said. â�?�?We found Rachel in the USD Theater program and she was more than willing to be part of the project.â�? The next challenge was to select the overall theme of the production and form a creative team, Miller said. â�?�?Interestingly enough, the writers started with what stories we wanted to tell, and what we ultimately came up with were 10 â�?�?photographs,â�?�?â�? Miller said. â�?�?We then wrote a song to be paired with each photograph, which was eventually adapted to the cast.â�? Miller also said that creating a new production gives the directors and writers the flexibility to alter script when necessary. â�?�?When you are working with community theater, you are not sure who is going to show up at auditions,â�? he said. â�?�?The beauty of writing your own production is that you can write to the strengths of the cast. You can say, â�?�?We have these two great high school students, so we are going to write a song just for them.â�?�?â�? Although the added flexibility is a bonus, the main benefit of community theater is working with the community itself, Foulks said. â�?�?I think the best thing about this is that it brings everyone in the community together,â�? Foulks said. â�?�?Everyone involved feels like that they have a piece of it and that they had a hand in crafting it.â�? â�?�?In Every Generation: An Original Musical Photographâ�? will run from Friday, July 10 to Monday, July 13 at the VHS Performing Arts Center. Show times are 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Saturday and Monday and 2:30 p.m. on Sunday. For more information, visit www.VermillionCommunityTheatre.org.
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