The Freshman Musical opens opportunities for first-years


Joshua Hoffman/Daily Senior Staffer

The Freshman Musical will put on its annual show this May in Harris Hall. The group strives to create a welcoming environment for freshmen interested in theatre.

Kara Peeler, Assistant Copy Chief

With an abundance of theatre opportunities at Northwestern, it’s easy for a first-year to get lost. The Freshman Musical aims to help them find their way.

The annual Freshman Musical is fully produced, directed and performed by freshmen, which allows them to hold positions or roles that would typically be filled by upperclassmen.

“There are so many opportunities, but at the same time, there are so many people also trying to get involved,” Communication freshman and the show’s co-producer Steven Johnson said. “With Freshman Musical, it’s an opportunity to get in the driver’s seat, and take that primary role and have that control over the creative process.”

With a focus on collaboration and team-building, the team hopes to foster a positive environment for members. The Freshman Musical emphasizes inclusivity: all freshmen are welcome, regardless of experience level or major, according to the team. Though most are theatre majors, Communication freshman Rachel Olkin, the show’s co-director, said she hopes to recruit members across schools.

“Aside from this being a fun process, we also want it to be a space for people to try something new and to be able to learn and not to have to stress about already knowing everything,” Olkin said.

Johnson said the production emphasizes process over product, highlighting the low-pressure environment and freedom for mistakes and experimentations.

Despite increased COVID-19 regulations during Wildcat Wellness, members of The Freshman Musical are not too concerned about their plans being affected, according to Johnson.

“With everybody getting their booster shots and still maintaining social distance during rehearsals, still getting tested…I really feel confident that we can pull this off in person,” said Communication freshman Journey Cole, the show’s stage manager.

The Freshman Musical is in the early stages of production and is still in the process of selecting a musical and obtaining rights. In the months ahead, the group will continue with artistic and business planning. Olkin said they hope to build a business team to help with marketing, and The Freshman Musical aims to hold auditions later in Winter Quarter. The musical is set to premiere mid-May in Harris Hall. The team hopes to draw a large audience to their performance, Olkin said, as this will help showcase freshman talent to the community.

“I want people to mostly have a lot of fun and come out of it with a sense of confidence going forward at Northwestern that we do have a place here,” said Communication freshman Julie Monteleone, the show’s other co-director. “We can make our own spaces for ourselves in this super competitive and stressful environment. I want people to have fun watching it.”

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Twitter: @karapeeler

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