Campus News

Theatre club celebrates 20th anniversary of musical theatre in true musical fashion

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This is the 20th anniversary of theatre productions in the Everest-Rohrer Auditorium, and a the campus’s theatre club found its own way of celebrating the occasion. The Company, Bethel’s student theatre club, presented “Tradition! 20 Years of Bethel College Musical Theatre” at the Science Building’s Octorium on Saturday. Along with current theatre students, alumni also returned to reprise their old roles and sing select songs from plays that had been done over the years. Alex Price and Kayla Rundquist, president and vice president of the Company respectively, hosted the event, adding their own blend of comedy. “’Tradition!’ was an event that we students wanted to put on to celebrate the 20 years that we’ve been in the ER (Everest Rohrer Auditorium),” said Rundquist. “We wanted to get alumni in the ER because they have obviously been a big part of the theatre in the past 20 years. So, we got Shawn Holtgren, Amy Lehman and Janelle Rundquist (my sister), who had been graduates and who had different parts. Each sang a song from the role they had played when they were here.” Holtgren reprised his role as Henry Higgins and sang “I’ve Grown Accustomed To Her Face” from “My Fair Lady,” and Lehman reprised her role as Adelaide and sang “Adelaide’s Lament” from Guys and Dolls. Finally, Janelle Rundquist reprised her role as the Mother Abbess and sang “Climb Ev’ry Mountain” from “The Sound of Music.” “It was a lot of fun having them there,” said Kayla Rundquist. “It was a good event because we as the students were able to work together and learn how to produce this thing, literally all on our own. There was zero faculty help. So we were really proud of it, and thankful for how mature everyone was. They took it seriously; all the students took it seriously even though it wasn’t a faculty published thing.” This event was also taken seriously by the audience. “(I’ve) always found all the events so refined and in (all) of the performances the voices are phenomenal and the enthusiasm of the students is infectious,” said attendee Ann Schmiedler. “So you go out (and you are) uplifted from having been to a performance like this.” The theatre students of Bethel College arduously worked for this show. Wesley Lantz, junior communication major, said that the group started rehearsals in January, but only had a total of five or six rehearsals, since rehearsals were only once every two weeks due to scheduling conflicts. The title, “Tradition!” comes from the opening song of the musical “Fiddler on the Roof.” “Tradition” was also the first song of the program. Some of the songs, including “Tradition” and “I Won’t Grow Up,” from the musical “Peter Pan,” included lines that parodied life at Bethel College. “(The parody)was so creative and entertaining,” said Schmiedler. “I have three children who went through college so I could understand what they were going through because of my children, but then the little droplets throughout the show, the references to Bethel, I thought was just darling.”
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