Sunday, May 19, 2024

Mad Ones musical makes memories, motivates

From left, Benajamin Cepulo, Olivia Storms, Tori Donovan and Camryn Lincoln on the Hartman Theatre stage performing “Remember This” together.



By Cinara Marquis

18-year-old Samantha Brown is caught on the edge of her future. She is stuck between following expectations and her dreams of the unknown.

Sam sits in a hand-me-down car, keys in hand, reliving her senior year of high school.

Through these memories, we meet the people in Sam’s life, her controlling yet well-intentioned mother, her awkward sweetheart boyfriend Adam, and her daring friend Kelly.

Sam is nothing like Kelly, she has plans and sticks to the rules, Kelly is audacious. When she loses Kelly to a car crash, she not only loses her friend but also the part of her who was learning to be brave.

Now she has to make a decision that changes her life forever — alone.



The College Theatre Association at SUNY Plattsburgh performed “The Mad Ones,” a two act musical, on April 19 and 20.

The cast consisted of junior education major Tori Donovan as Sam, junior social work major Olivia Storms as Kelly, senior music major Camryn Lincoln as Beverly, and senior music/music arts management major Benajamin Cepulo as Adam.

The crew included first-year communication sciences and disorders major Abbie McCauley swinging, also called understudying, for Kelly; graduate student for special education Riley McQuade swinging for Beverly; junior theater major Nicholas Alkobi as director; music/music arts management 2023 alumna Charlotte Stevens as music director; junior communication sciences and disorders major Emily Fagan as stage manager; and junior theatre major Claire Ragusa as technical director.

The original book, music and lyrics are by Kait Kerrigan and Bree Lowdermilk.



“My entire life I’ve had a passion for music and theater. Every time I got to move the prop car or the prop bed, I loved doing it because it felt like I was doing my part of the musical and getting the actors where they needed to be at that moment,” McCauley wrote in an email. “I never did anything in high school, so I figured that I should join the Plattsburgh theater. I’m so happy that I did because I’ve realized that I absolutely love doing anything in theater.”

Alkobi agreed with this.

“I loved the whole process. It taught me a lot and how to do better in future productions. Everything about the show was a learning experience. From communication to trust to being able to overcome obstacles, nothing could be overlooked,” Alkobi wrote over email.

“The Mad Ones” is a dramatic and humorous musical, simple in it’s story but poignant.

“Throughout the musical, it is (Sams) growth that we see,” Donovan wrote over email. “It is her strength and perseverance that are the true meaning of the show.”

While it is an upsetting story about loss, grief and uncertainty, it is, in the end, hopeful. Sam’s perseverance stands as a testament to the fact that a person can survive loss and follow their dreams Alkobi wrote.

“Seeing her be able to grow through the show gave the audience and myself hope in how strong we can be,” Donovan wrote.

Reflecting back on his time, Cepulo found the musical to be a symbol of solidarity.

“This musical has been very impactful. There have been many people lost in car accidents, both nationally and locally,” Cepulo wrote over email. “Bringing this story to life helps promote coping stories or emotions that come to light during processes like this.”


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