Thursday, July 25, 2024

Strand takes on Plattsburgh production

By Kiyanna Noel

The SUNY Plattsburgh Departments of Music & Theatre presents “9 to 5 The Musical,” based on the 1980s movie starring Dolly Parton, Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin. It will be held at the Strands Center for the Arts Nov. 10-12 at 7:30 p.m. and Nov. 13 at 2 p.m. General admission tickets are $15 and available for purchase at the Strands Center for the Arts website. 

The stage directors are Julia Devine and Beth Glover. The music director is Pam Lavin, conductor is Daniel Gordon and choreographer is Kathy Koester.

In a press release, Devine said: “The story of ‘9 to 5’ still resonates today. We like to call this musical a form of ‘comedic activism.’ We may have made strides in the workplace but we still have more work to do.” 

In light of  Roe v. Wade being overturned, there will be a discussion after Friday evening’s performance on women’s rights in the workplace. It’s a collaboration with the Gender and Women’s Studies department at SUNY Plattsburgh.

“9 to 5” is a comedy that explores the life of three women — Violet Newstead, Doralee Rhodes and Judy Bernly — who work for egotistical Franklin Hart, and try to find their place in the workroom. The three leads devise a plan to trap their boss and eliminate the sexism created in a hostile work environment. 

Musical Theatre Minor and senior Reg Sutphen who plays Violet in the musical explains her role and her own process when it came to auditioning for Violet. 

“I am so about worker’s rights and I love everything that this show is about. Is it really goofy? Yes, but it does talk about how women are treated in the workplace. Violet really just spoke to me and I really was like this is who I’m meant to play and this is who I’m meant to portray and I want to tell her story,” Sutphen said. 

Theater major first-year Mirren Guzzio plays Judy Bernly and explains how she feels connected to her character. 

“I really liked the message that the show wanted to get across, and I think even though the original movie is getting pretty old now, the things in the show are so relevant, maybe even more so now than they were back then,” Guzzio said. “As far as Judy Bernly specifically, I find that I always end up getting roles in places that are very reflective of where I am in my life at that moment. And I think as a freshman in college, it’s pretty cool to play someone who starts out as a really shy character and has to come out of their shell and be their own person.”

Graduate student Bella Anderson, a childhood and special education major with a theatre minor, plays Roz Keith. 

“Roz’s story really isn’t that helpful to the entirety of the movement behind the show. She’s really I guess comedic relief,” Anderson said. “But she does side with the man which is unfortunate. But, I think it’s still important to show that there are people who don’t necessarily support the cause at first, but as long as you keep trying and going for it they might see that they did mess up and turn over a new leaf. Because by the end she does come around in her own way.” 

Tickets are available here. If you are a group of 10 or more, call the Strand at 518-563-1604.

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