Converse’s new major in musical theatre ushers in a new era for Theatre Converse as it celebrates its first production of a musical with Legally Blonde, March 26 – 30. The production promises to be a fun experience for audiences as they follow the transformation of Elle Woods as she tackles stereotypes, snobbery, and scandal in pursuit of her dreams. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students and seniors, and are available at the door or through the Theatre Converse ticket office at 864.596.9068. Show times are 8 p.m. on Wednesday – Saturday and 2 p.m. on Sunday.
“We have worked to make this as fun as the original movie but we also want to bring out the spirit of female empowerment that lies at the heart of Legally Blonde…we think that plays well at Converse College.”
Based on the popular film of the same name, this action-packed musical explodes on the stage with memorable songs and dynamic dances. Theatre Converse’s production features a talented cast of professional artists, Converse faculty, staff, and students.
“We are thrilled to be one of the first theatre companies in our region to produce this title and we hope Spartanburg will come out and support the talented musical theatre students,” said director Boone Hopkins. “We have worked to make this as fun as the original movie but we also want to bring out the spirit of female empowerment that lies at the heart of Legally Blonde. Audiences will notice that Elle Woods is a much more active agent in securing her destiny in this musical and we think that plays well at Converse College.”
The theatre department’s criteria for selecting shows always starts with those that offer great roles for women. “Legally Blonde offered us a wide variety of challenges for our student artists and the production has one big production number after another,” says Hopkins. “We are also committed to doing new musicals that will help our students build a dynamic professional resume when they leave Converse.”
Staging a musical demands strong collaborators in music and dance. Dr. Susan Lyle from the Petrie School of Music serves as music director and Converse’s new Assistant Professor of Dance, McCree O’Kelley, serves as choreographer. Hopkins notes that these partners have been vital in making the production capture the best of musical theatre – strong voices, great dancing and engaging acting.
Eight of the 27 students cast in the production are majoring in musical theatre, which is a new major at Converse this year and has attracted many new students. An additional 10 are majoring in theatre. Hopkins cast three professional actors from the Upstate to work alongside Converse students, and has recruited faculty and staff members as well as Vice President for Academic Affairs Jeff Barker and President Betsy Fleming to make appearances in the production. “It has been thrilling to watch these groups come together in the spirit of making high calibre theatre,” Hopkins says.
The buzz around this production and popularity of this show has meant record advanced ticket sales, Hopkins says. “We are hopeful that we can fill the house for our five performances and provide great platform for future musicals at Converse College.”