The Dolphin Show to produce new original musical “Change My Mind”


Photo courtesy of Lucia Boyd

“Change My Mind” announcement. The musical will premiere Saturday evening at 7:30 p.m.

Olivia Alexander, Reporter

For the first time ever, The Dolphin Show has produced an original show.

This Saturday, “Change My Mind,” a musical co-written by Communication senior Theo Janke-Furman and Bienen senior Lorenzo Pipino will be streamed live on The Dolphin Show’s Youtube and Facebook page.

“Change My Mind” explores mental health issues through Holly, a young woman assisting a doctor on an experiment that allows participants to change one thing about themselves. On the last day of the trial, Holly must decide which participant is most eligible for the procedure, leaving the audience to consider whether erasing what we dislike about ourselves is the best way forward.

“Our thesis of the show is that even when things get really hard, it’s always better to work through them and to grow rather than trying to erase the parts of yourself that you don’t like,” Pipino said.

Pipino and Janke-Furman began writing the musical last summer after taking a class in the Creating the Musical module. With the aid of the Summer Undergraduate Research Grant, Pipino said he and Janke-Furman formed a “pod” together last summer and met five times a week to work on the show’s music, scenes and lyrics.

When Pipino posted a song from the musical on Facebook, a producer at The Dolphin Show reached out and offered to take it on as a Winter Quarter special event. “Change My Mind” will also show as a part of Northwestern’s American Music Theatre Project.

“We had finished a bunch of songs at the end of the summer, and then these two amazing opportunities to workshop and see our work on its feet popped up in front of us,” Janke-Furman said. “We were so thankful for that, and I think it really pushed us to keep working on it.”

“Change My Mind” is Lucia Miller’s directorial debut at Northwestern. Miller said she appreciated the opportunity to work with “a lovely and multifaceted, smart group of actors,” as well as the opportunity to workshop a new musical.

Throughout rehearsals, the team said they enjoyed the flexibility of the Zoom environment. They said workshopping a new show adapts well to a virtual space, where edits can be made to a Google Doc quickly, and actors are looking into the same camera the script is on.

Pipino said online rehearsals work well, especially since the cast of six actors is flexible with changes to the material.

Those involved with the show said they hope viewers will leave the show analyzing their own perceptions of themselves as needing to be fixed or reshaped.

“I think my hopes for the audience leaving this show are (to) equally be delighted by the story and inspired to think about the messages of self acceptance and prioritizing mental health,” Miller said. “I also hope that there’s an equally important conversation about the show as a piece of new work and how it can continue to grow.”

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Twitter: @oliviagalex

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