Saturday, September 17, 2011

Arts Reporting: Daily Texan Profiles Rosie, staging of a musical in progress, September 16

Found at the Daily Texan on-line, September 16:

Working woman's story gets told in stage collaboration

by Elizabeth HinojosJoseph Daily, Kelly Schultz in 'Rosie' (image: Thomas Allison, Daily Texan)

The working woman is as thriving as ever, and there is no forgetting the iconic figure who symbolizes the upheaval of the male-dominated workforce.

Famous poster child Rosie the Riveter is the protagonist in the musical “Rosie,” which follows the story of a working woman who led the charge. UT is lending its facilities to this potential Broadway hit. The musical is in the process of securing producers while the cast has been volunteering their time preparing for a staged reading Saturday. The reading marks the first steps of what the actual production might look like. If the musical goes forward and receives support from producers, the University will procure billing. This entails UT being listed in a playbill as the first venue where the musical was performed.

Although there will be no costumes, props or a set, the reading will show prospective investors the elements essential to the musical. The cast includes about 30 singers and dancers, including students from the Department of Theatre and Dance and two UT graduates who are part of the musical’s creative team.“Rosie” takes place on Coney Island and is a fictionalized account of how the women of World War II became empowered to work toward the war effort through a historical backdrop.

At the start of the war, there was a great need for female laborers because of the many males sent overseas for combat. This necessity was contrary to the Great Depression, when unemployment was at an all-time high and women were essential to the survival of the United States economy. In an attempt to draw these women to the workforce, the government launched an ad campaign encouraging females to work in war-related industries. Norman Rockwell created the image of “Rosie the Riveter” in 1943, and it was printed in the Saturday Evening Post. The figure was to symbolize loyalty, efficiency, patriotism and beauty, gaining great popularity which lasts to this day.UT students, faculty and a few special guests from the community each have a piece of the puzzle that is the production, said Lyn Koenning, musical director and lecturer in the Department of Theatre and Dance. Running a new musical is very collaborative and cannot be done separately.

Read more at the Daily Texan . . . .

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