March 21, 2019 2:03 PM
Dane Lisser

Millikin cast becomes first to perform musical 

Students from Millikin University's School of Theatre and Dance are the first to present the production of "Chelsea Sunrise" March 22-24 at Albert Taylor Theatre in Shilling Hall on Millikin's campus.

The story follows Dusty, a Toronto kid who loves the music of the 1960s British Invasion – so much so that he models himself and his band after it. But his dreams of stardom are tested by the real world as he is forced to confront his ideas of love, loyalty and authenticity in this exciting new musical.

The music of "Chelsea Sunrise" was written by Mike Ford and Murray Foster, and book by Murray Foster. Foster is a Canadian musician and playwright based out of Toronto. Millikin producers have been in contact with Foster throughout the development of the production to provide updates.

In a recent interview with the Herald & Review, Jordan Luty, a senior musical theatre major from London said, "This is a brand new musical. We only know our script, so there's not much to research since it is a developing project."

Choreographer McKena Silva, a senior musical theatre major from Mills, Wyo., added, "We are doing a bare-bones production of it, which means we are void of technical elements, no microphones, sets or costumes. Everything you see on stage came from us."

Chelsea Sunrise

Photo courtesy of the Herald & Review

Millikin University is one of a few institutions to present works by new playwrights. "We have really been investing in these writers, because we want their work to be produced," said Luty. "Using our abilities here at Millikin to showcase their material, they can see what they need to work on. We have a mutual benefit."

Silva says the reason for this type of production is to accommodate for the many musical theatre students on Millikin's campus and provide them more performance opportunities. The hope for the Millikin cast as well as the writers is for the play to make it to Broadway.

"There is an amazing fusion between the retro 60s-esque music and the technology and amazing things we can do with music now," Luty said.

Millikin School of Theatre and Dance

The Millikin School of Theatre and Dance produces numerous performances in venues on and off-campus, including musicals, plays, operas, children's theatre and dance concerts, as well as productions through its student-run theatre company, Pipe Dreams Studio Theatre.

Millikin's School of Theatre and Dance is a nationally recognized program, offering conservatory-style training rooted in a liberal arts education. The School of Theatre and Dance's approach to education offers students valuable insight and hands-on experiences that will prepare them for professional success. Nationwide, Millikin's respected theatre alumni are routinely hired for projects in television, film and live theatre, including top Broadway shows.