From the Director’s View: “The Phantom of the Opera”


Caleb Kelch

School is back in session here at Millikin and students are scrambling to regain their balance and confidence they had throughout the break. Classes have begun to strangle their victims and students are struggling to escape from the cold, hard grasp of college. Right now, life seems quite difficult, but only theater and music majors know the true answer.

Even though it has only been a week since the end of the wonderful and much needed break, students of the School of Theater, Dance, and Music have been swarming for breath as they have encountered what seems to be the end. Hours after hours go by and the students are still practicing their lines, dance routines, or vocal auditions for the upcoming Millikin University production of “The Phantom of the Opera.” Auditionees have put numerous amounts of hard work and time into these auditions. Throughout the week, auditions have taken place for this mystical and electrifying show that will push you to the edge and send chills crawling down your spine.

Now that callbacks are long gone and the cast list has been released; I had the wonderful opportunity to sit down with Kevin Long and Elizabeth Creighton, the director and co-music director of the show, respectively. These two gave us great insight on the audition process, plans leading up to the performances, and much more. Expect this show to be one of the best Millikin productions in a long time.

The last time a School of Theater, Dance, and Music production was produced happened to be several years ago. Kevin Long was ecstatic to be able to bring back this collaboration which will provide a powerhouse for this show. With the expected and hopeful success of “The Phantom of the Opera,” both Long and Creighton are quite hopeful to produce bigger shows involving all three schools every few years. Having the collaboration of all three schools has allowed them to bring a whole new sense of energy to this production.

Starting three months earlier has allowed the crew to build a set and for Long and Creighton to figure out all of the technical issues. Long is very optimistic and believes that all that is left in the process is to bring the cast together. Now, that the cast has been decided, they will soon join forces to bring this mystifying and galvanizing show to life. With all hands on deck, help from co-music director, Dr. Ian Greenlaw and choreographer, Angie Miller; “Phantom” will be transformed into a miraculous weekend full of wonders and excitement. Expect “The Phantom of the Opera” to blow your mind and send you on a thrill ride of never-ending exhilaration.

Long was quite amazed to see the reactions and performances that the students were bringing into the auditions. “It was obvious the students did their homework just as much as we did ours,” said Long. The audition process was intriguing with all of the dancing that took place throughout the week and when asked to sing, students had two minutes to sing a piece of their choice and recite a monologue, if they chose to audition for the play, “Mr. Burns, a post-electric play.” After the grueling week of auditions, a callback list was compiled and the rest became history.

Everything seems to be set in stone. All the lights, set pieces, and backdrops have been built and decided on and the orchestra is starting to fill out. All that awaits are the actors and actresses to step into their respective roles. Come opening night and expect to view a production full of everlasting energy, jolts of joyful terror, and pure talent oozing from the stage. “The Phantom of the Opera” will not be a production you want to miss.

“The Phantom of the Opera” will run from April 20-22. Showtimes for the 20th and 21st being at 7:30pm and the 22nd will be held at 2:00pm.