Waa-Mu show lets NU stories take center stage

For 80 years, Waa-Mu has never been the same old song and dance, but this year’s show will be even more different, co-chair Liz Olanoff said.

Waa-Mu, a student-written and student-produced musical, has always been a revue in which scenes are connected by a common theme but not necessarily by plot. But for Waa-Mu 2011: “What’s Next?” more emphasis was placed on chronicling the journeys of characters, Olanoff said.

“We have a really wonderful group of people,” the Communication senior said. “But there’s something about this creative atmosphere, where everybody working on this show has been a huge part of creating what we present, which makes for a really fun, creative room to be in.”

This year’s show, under new direction by theatre Prof. David H. Bell, will portray the journey of Northwestern students from the eve of their freshman year through graduation.

Waa-Mu debuted in 1930 as a joint production of the Women’s Athletic Association and the Men’s Union, giving the show its name. The show took a hiatus during World War II but began again in 1946.

Performances will be held in Cahn Auditorium April 29 to May 1 and May 5 to 8. Tickets cost $11 for full-time students.

Waa-Mu takes a school year to produce, so seeing the finished product and an audience’s reaction elicits a good feeling, Olanoff said.

“It’s exciting to share the experience of the show with the audience who are seeing material for the first time,” she said. “And you can feel the energy in that room.”

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