Kean Theatre Students Make Their Debut For Fall 2016

Jesus Hopped the 'A' Train and Seussical will be performed throughout October and November

Campus Life > Kean Theatre Students Make Their Debut For Fall 2016
Kean Theatre Students Make Their Debut For Fall 2016

Kean Theatre Conservatory students in rehearsal for Seussical, which opens November 11th

Holly Logue

Sara Ridgway

The Kean Theatre Conservatory has officially opened the 2016-2017 season. 

Associate Professor Ernest W. Wiggins is directing Jesus Hopped the 'A' Train from Friday, October 14, 2016, through Saturday, October 22, 2016, at the Zella Fry Theatre.

The play tells the tale of two prisoners on Rikers Island and revolves around themes of crime and punishment, innocence and guilt and individual moral accountability. 

Wiggins' decision to choose Jesus Hopped the 'A' Train was because of its Pulitzer Prize winning playwright, Stephen Adly Gurgis. 

"I'm excited by his use of dialogue, the way in which his characters talk to one another," Wiggins said. "He also lets us into the inner thinking of his characters. This play allows us to experience an intense situation, which deals with imprisonment, the nature of punishment, the duplicity and complication of religion, and individual responsibility."

Wiggins hopes that the students on the production team will ultimately leave this experience with a valuable lesson.

"I hope the students [working on production] will come to trust themselves and each other more and to take risks," Wiggins added. "I want the students to ultimately learn how to respect the power of words." 

Later in the semester, Associate Professor Holly Logue will direct Seussical from Friday, November 11, 2016, through Saturday, November 19, 2016, at Wilkins Theatre. 

Seussical is based on Dr. Seuss's children's books and includes a variety of its characters, like Horton the Elephant, The Whos, The Cat in the Hat and Lazy Mayzie. Choreography will be directed by the university's dance minor Program Coordinator Michele Mossay. 

For the first time in the Kean Theatre Conservatory, the play was chosen by the students. There were four titles suggested by the staff, and the theatre majors used the plot summary and character descriptions, as well as several other factors, to make their decision. 

"First, we wanted them to think about what learning opportunities were inherent within each of the four titles," Logue said. "We also wanted them to think about how the musical would fit into the overall season. Last, we wanted the students to think about the resources available within the department. It's important for them to understand what might be required to produce certain kinds of theatrical pieces."

It was a unanimous decision, as Suessical received twice the amount of votes as any of the other options. 

Come out and support the Kean Theatre students as they take the stage and perform in Jesus Hopped The 'A' Train and Seussical during October and November of 2016. 

about the author

Sara Ridgway is double majoring in a marketing and communication with a concentration in media and film. She works as a Staff Writer for The Cougar’s Byte. Now entering her junior year at Kean University, Ridgway is currently honing her skills as she prepares for a career as a reporter upon graduation. In addition to being a well-rounded student, Ridgway has a variety of interests outside of the classroom. Ridgway plays for the Kean University women's volleyball team and also enjoys snowboarding, photography and other outdoor activities. She also has aspirations of travelling the world and working as a reporter abroad.