A Glimpse into the Personal Side of Theaterposted on November 30th, 2011 by Jamie Lynn Wisniewski
My peers in the Montclair State University Department of Theatre and Dance opened their fall season in October with A Chorus Line, a production that could have easily been mistaken for the actual Broadway show. I had never seen A Chorus Line but, thanks to my theater-obsessed friends, was familiar with the soundtrack of a show that had won nine Tony Awards. The songs were nearly identical, and I was impressed with the students’ powerful vocals.
The show provided a glimpse into the personalities of its characters and described the events that shaped their lives and their decisions to become dancers. The performance was very inspiring, and I did not expect to develop a connection with the performers the way I did. The performers lived through the music, using dance. A Chorus Line was so engaging because the dance routines and songs were a great compilation of the dancers’ inner thoughts. Following the characters throughout the production allowed me to feel close to them and develop relationships with them. A particular musical number I identified with was “At the Ballet,” performed by the characters Sheila, Bebe, and Maggie. This portion of the performance revealed each woman’s troubled past and conveyed her emotions through the music and dance. Lines like “It wasn’t paradise, but it was home,” were relatable for me, because I understand what having a “second family” and a home away from home is like. Ballet was all these women had, and it inspired them to work hard enough to make it to a prestigious Broadway audition. I would hope to see my peers in the same situation someday.
A Chorus Line is a snapshot of what it is like in the theater industry. Dancers pour their hearts and souls out on the stage and are never guaranteed success, no matter how well they perform. After watching this performance, I realized how talented the students of Montclair State are, and I was truly moved. A job well done, Montclair!
Jamie Lynn Wisniewski is un undergraduate student at Montclair State University.