If you would have walked into Sheehy Theatre this past week, you would have walked into a big family, also known as Musical Theatre Society (MTS) preparing for the cabaret playing Friday and Saturday at 7:45pm in the basement of Malty Building.
This years cabaret is directed by junior theatre acting major Anthony Sansonetti, and assistant directed by senior math major Sydney DonGiovanni and sophomore early childhood education major Olivia Freed.
Prior to this school year, MTS had decided the cabaret would be fairy tale themed and called ‘Once Upon a Cabaret.’ However, once they had begun to practice, they decided to make this cabaret much more meaningful.
“AJ got voted in as director and was like ‘Hey, I don’t want to do that anymore, I want to make it about finding who you are and we will stick to the theme in terms of it being fictional and fictional settings,’” DonGiovanni said of director Anthony Sansonetti.
“I thought it was really cool because we have always done shows where we have stuck to themes but we have never had as serious or as deep of message,” DonGiovanni said.
DonGiovanni said she hopes the cast and audience take home some messages with them, even if they do not agree with all of them. It has been one of their most unique and artistic shows, she said, after being part of about 12 MTS productions.
“I really hope that they all take an individual stance and there are students who can really sympathize with this because they are the ones who will get it,” DonGiovanni said. “I hope that people can just put aside their differences and see the beauty in this show and the talent that everyone has to offer,” she added.
Sansonetti has taken his turn to direct MTS after having assistant directed to Ryan Barlow last year for MTS’ production of ‘The Wedding Singer,’ and hopes to spark a meaningful message in the audience and cast members.
“I felt like we could take these well-known fairytales and turn it into something that people can relate to, how they’re supposed to be related to,” Sansonetti said. “It is not just all far-fetched ‘Once upon a time they lived happily ever after’ because that’s not the truth,” Sansonetti said.
Sansonetti wanted to take these fairytales to talk about real, important issues that people are sometimes unwilling to talk about, and try to get into the heads of close-minded people through something they already know about, like fairytales, and turn them into real-life messages.
The hardest part of directing for Sansonetti was having a filter, Sansonetti laughed.
“I am a very blunt and honest person and there is a lot of things I wanted to do and that I knew were important to drive a message but I also know I have to be slightly sensitive to some views of the community,” Sansonetti said. “Doing so, I made sure I put in every message I wanted to but there’s never a moment of actually saying it out loud. It’s all just what you take from it,” Sansonetti said.
Olivia Freed said her first experience has been a whirlwind and an amazing ride.
“I believe there are people who, like in any production, that are not happy or don’t exactly agree with the message or show. But I think overall the people in our lives and the people who come to the show will be accepting and enjoy the talent we have to give,” Freed said.
Doors will open for the 7:45pm show at 7:00pm Friday and Saturday.
“I am most excited to see what the cast does. That is why I love directing. It is really because of what they put on the stage and what they get out of it,” Sansonetti said.
“At the end of the day they need to be proud of what they’ve done and so I have that ‘proud Mom’ moment when they all go out on the stage and you see them giving their all. I know they are all excited about giving this message to the community,” Sansonetti said.