FloArts presents “Company,” a musical comedy by Stephen Sondheim
“To marry or not to marry?” is the question addressed in "Company," a groundbreaking musical comedy by Stephen Sondheim coming to the main stage at the Florida School of the Arts located on the Palatka campus of St. Johns River State College. The show runs 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, February 20 to Saturday, February 22 and at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, February 23. Tickets are $5.
Written in 1970, "Company" explores the question of bachelorhood versus marriage through 35-year-old Robert, played by Chad Boyd. Robert contemplates his unmarried life and is forced to question his adamant retention of bachelorhood. The 14-member cast also includes five married couples and the three women Robert is dating.
“Anybody who has ever been on the dating scene will have a lot of connection with the show,” said play director Patricia Crotty who gives the show a PG-13 rating due to some of the adult content. Based in New York City, “Company” opens in Robert’s apartment on his 35th birthday. Over the course of a series of dinners, drinks and even a wedding, Robert's friends explain the pros and cons of taking on a spouse. “Robert is the last one in his circle of friends who hasn’t gotten married, so all of his married friends are trying to help him out. All the wives are thinking they know exactly who Robert should marry, and all the husbands fantasize about being him,” said Crotty.
According to Crotty, Boyd is playing “a tour-de-force role, which is demanding, vocally, physically and emotionally. He’s on stage almost nonstop,” said Crotty. “For a singer his age, that's a lot. The role also presents vocal challenges for carrying and maintaining the voice through the whole energy of the show, but he’s doing a beautiful job. He's dynamite and an active performer, so this is a good part for him.” Because Boyd plays Robert so well, Crotty is confident he will play a role of this nature sometime again over the course of his performing career.
The additional characters in the play will also act in almost every scene. “It's a fun piece that really showcases the students,” said Crotty. “There's quite a bit of choral singing, group numbers and large dance numbers. Songs include “The Little Things You Do Together,” Someone is Waiting,” “Marry Me a Little,” “Barcelona,” “Being Alive” and more.
With the dance choreography created to primarily highlight the main character, the audience can expect to see "a lot of fast, corky, interactive movement,” said faculty choreographer Jessica Mayhew-Borrero. "You'll definitely see some hats and canes,” Crotty added. Additionally, the choreography will reveal a variety of surprises with the props and special effects. Crotty praised the new FloArts faculty for their talent and creativity with the scenic, lighting and sound design elements of the show.
“It’s a fun, upbeat show,” said Crotty. “It’s a coming of age journey. It's the journey of Robert really taking hold of the fact that he's at a transition point in his life and he has to decide."
So what will Robert decide? Will he choose to get married or continue on with his bachelorhood journey?
The cast, in order of appearance, includes: Boyd as Robert; Anna Guzman as Sarah; Malik Johnson as Harry; Emma Gazdecki as Susan; Kellin Ronquille as Peter; Maria Masters as Jenny; Austin Kelley as David; Logen Cheatham as Amy; Liam Carroll as Paul; Rebekah Herskovitz as Joanne; Neal Baker as Larry; Caitlin Sweeney as Marta; Courtney Burnett as Kathy; and Viktoria Fancsali as April.
The production team includes: director Crotty; music direction - Stephanie Masterson: choreography - Mayhew-Borrero; scenic design - Tim Castell; lighting and sound design - Victoria Sanders; and costume design - Emily Schafer; stage manager Meli Moore; costume shop manager Tiffany Jordan; technical director Andrew Stevens; assistant director Jacob Dinkel; assistant stage managers Isabelle Asma and M.J. McBride; vocal captain Caitlin Sweeney; dance captain Logen Cheatham; karate consultant M.J. McBride; production assistants Kati Blankenship, Dana Cox and Nicholas Ramsey; assistant to the lighting designer Marcus Roberts; assistant to the sound designer Nicole Barnes; sound engineers Barnes, Savanna Flathmann and Masterson; additional music tracks: Michael Clark; light board operator Marcus Roberts; sound board operators Nicole Barnes, Savanna Flathmann and Fermin Llosa; microphone operators Barnes and Flathmann; prop artisans Flathmann and McBride; scenic construction crew: Miguel Algarin, Baker, Barnes, Boyd, Courtney Burnett, Cheatham, Jahleel Christian, Jacob Dinkel, Flathmann, Madeline Gamel, Gazdecki, Guzman, Kira Heuring, Nathaniel Heustis, Johnson, Peyton Kalaczynski, Kelley, Ariel LeMerle-Mousset, McBride, Roberts, Ronquille and Sweeney; lighting crew: Asma, Barnes, Burnett, Dinkel, Fancsali, Flathmann, Gamel, Suzannah Gaston, Gazdecki, Heustis, Kalaczynski, Masters, Wyatt Matlock, McBride, Moore, Ramsey, Elijah Richardson-Grant, Roberts, Andrew Stevens, Sweeney, Sara Tye; Stitcher Alexandria Rogalski; costume construction crew: Asma, Paige Lane, Matlock, McBride and Sweeney.
Understudies: Algarin, Asma, Christian, Gaston, Heuring, Kalaczynski, Matlock, Richardson-Grant, Sweeney and Tye.
Florida School of the Arts, which serves the entire state of Florida, is part of the academic and administrative structure of SJR State and awards associate degrees in acting, dance performance, musical theater, stage management, theater technology, graphic design/new media and studio art. For more information, call (386) 312-4300 or visit FloArts.org.
Anna Guzman (Sarah) and Malik Johnson (Harry) explain how marriage works to their single friend Chad Boyd (Robert) in the Florida School of the Arts musical comedy “Company,” a coming of age journey that forces a bachelor to contemplate his unmarried life. The show runs February 20-23.
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