After a couple of decades of directing big theater productions in the Marshall Islands, Dartmouth College Professor Emeritus Andrew Garrod knows how to deliver.
Most important ingredients are “don’t waste time” and include the right people in direction and production of an event that will involve 40 or more actors.
In the don’t waste time department, Garrod and a team of three Dartmouth students arrived last Thursday and started auditions for the play the next day. This year’s play — by popular demand — is Grease, a play made famous in Hollywood movie format by John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John in the 1978 film.
The get the right people included department has a team of talented people involved. Joining Garrod are Dartmouth students Zackary Gottschall, a sophomore who is music director for the play, and Sophia Kinne, a sophomore, and Adlai Coleman, a junior, both of whom will be production assistants, with Kinne having the additional responsibility of assisting with costumes.
They will be joined shortly by Bonny Taggart, who will produce the play. Her husband, Ken, will spend a couple of weeks in Majuro to build the set for the play. The Taggarts, after residence in Majuro for eight years and significant involvement in some of Garrod’s earlier plays, now live in the US mainland.
Local educator Jerre Bennett will be assistant musical director, a role he’s had in previous productions. A new development is the involvement of two lead actors from previous plays in directing and producing this year’s play: Bryant Zebedy is assistant director to Garrod and Tommy Kabua is assistant producer to Taggart.
Choreographer Ilona Bitos, who provided choreography for the King and I, will come to Majuro for three weeks to work with actors on the numerous dance scenes in the play. Save Filolita, a veteran actress in Garrod plays, will assist Bitos with choreography.
Garrod added that the Public School System is providing partial financial and in-kind support to stage the play, and MIHS Principal Jabwil Ned is very supportive of the program.
Read more about this in the January 12, 2018 edition of the Marshall Islands Journal.