Northern Michigan University's Department of Theatre and Dance is presenting its Spotlight Variety Show at 8 p.m. Friday, Sept. 3, and Saturday, Sept. 4, at the Shoreline Theatre. A sensory-friendly Theatre for All performance will be offered at 2 p.m. Sept. 4.
The showcase will feature a collection of scenes, songs, monologues and dance pieces performed by NMU theatre and dance students.
“Our mission with the show is to get all the fresh faces onto the stage as soon as they get on campus so we can get them engaged and working on their craft right away,” said Jill Grundstrom, assistant professor and co-director of NMU Theatre and Dance. “We were able to do it last year at the Shoreline Theatre, too, which was great for freshmen who came in during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. We're looking forward to doing it again.”
Each performer prepared and auditioned their performance material. NMU freshman musical theatre major Zoe Hajec of Livonia, Mich., will be singing “Into the Open Air” from Disney's Brave. She said that she chose this song because it is a Scottish song that reflects her heritage.
“While preparing, I listened to a variety of Scottish stories and connected with that element,” said Hajec. “Being Scottish is a part of who I am. It makes my connection to the song quite personal.”
Hajec said audiences can look forward to hearing songs from Les Miserables, Oliver, Anastasia and more during the performance, and that there is a wide variety of acts for all to enjoy, including magic.
“I am excited to see what each person performs during this collaborative experience,” said Hajec. “I really like that this showcase gives us all a chance to introduce ourselves and to get to know one another. It's a nice icebreaker and a great way to make connections within the program.
“While at NMU, I'd like to explore as many careers related to my field of study as possible. Being a part of this variety show provides me with an opportunity to see different theatrical careers, including technical theater, directing, casting, performing, stage management and more.”
NMU freshman musical theatre major Dashawn Mitchell of Rochester Hills, Mich., will be performing “The Kite Song” from You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown.
“This performance will feature us showcasing who we are so that audiences can get to know us personally,” said Mitchell. “Since we picked our own pieces, this performance reflects who we are as people and performers. Charlie Brown was the last role I played before coming to NMU. I really enjoy the song I selected, so when I got the chance to perform it again, I knew it was a good, fun song that I would enjoy sharing.”
Mitchell, whose sights are set on Broadway, said that his career goal is to be a musical theatre performer. He said that the variety show helps to establish a welcoming environment for students to get to know one another as peers and artists, as well as for the community to get a chance to meet students enrolled in NMU's theatre and dance program.
The “celebration of NMU's brightest stars” will launch the academic year's lineup of performances. Tickets are $17 for for the general public; $12 for NMU faculty and staff, seniors and military; $10 for students; and $5 for NMU students. Tickets can be purchased online at tickets.nmu.edu, by phone at 906-227-1032, or in person at any NMU ticket outlet.
The Shoreline Theatre is an outdoor venue located next to the Superior Dome and the soccer fields on NMU's campus. Learn more about the Spotlight Variety Show here.
An opening night party will be held after the first performance. It will feature complimentary food and beverages, a photo booth and a meet and greet with the cast and creative team. The opening night party is included with a ticket purchased for Sept. 3, and will follow the show at the Shoreline Theatre.