SUL ROSS’ SCOTT BLENDS TALENTS FOR “CABARET”

 

    A couple of years ago, Sul Ross State University Theatre faculty members Dona Roman and Marjie Scott discussed a “dream list” of roles and plays.
    “Marjie told me she always wanted to play Sally Bowles,” Roman said. “I told her that I wanted to do (direct) ‘Cabaret,’ and it has worked out.”
    Roman, Sul Ross professor of Theatre, directs “Cabaret,” which opens Saturday, March 25 on the Marshall Auditorium stage. Scott, assistant professor of Communication and Theatre, not only plays Sally Bowles, but serves as the musical’s choreographer.
    “This will be the community’s introduction to Marjie,” said Roman. “She is very talented, has a great resume and is a seasoned actress. She combines the knowledge, training and experience of dancing, acting and singing, along with the maturity to understand the depth of this role.”
    “Cabaret,” winner of numerous Tony and Academy Awards for both the stage and screen versions,” depicts the dramatic shift of life and fortunes in Germany from the end of the 1920s to the rise of the Nazi Party.  The musical centers on nightlife at the seedy Kit Kat Klub, and revolves around young American writer Cliff Bradshaw (played by JB Fields, Venus) and his relationship with 32-year-old English cabaret performer Bowles. Performances begin at 8:15 p.m. Friday and Saturday (March 25, March 31, April 1, 7-8) and 2 p.m. Sundays (March 26, April 2 and 9).
    Ticket prices are $12 for adults and $10 for seniors. The musical contains adult content, and parental discretion is advised.
    Scott has been able to juggle dual responsibilities during the extensive rehearsals. “The role of Sally is every bit as challenging and rewarding as I had hoped it would be,” she said. “I am enjoying the experience very much and am grateful to Dona and Sul Ross for the opportunity.”
    “Thankfully, I was able to start teaching the choreography last semester. I taught a musical theater dance class and the students learned a few of the dances from the show as part of their class.”
    Scott said the dancers returned to Sul Ross a week before Spring 2017 classes began and learned/rehearsed for six hours a day. “It helped immensely. By the time acting rehearsals began at the start of this semester, the dancers already knew most of the dances.”
    Since then, Scott and Roman split the weeks, with Scott rehearsing scenes Monday-Wednesday and working with the dancers Thursdays and Fridays.
    “I really have to compartmentalize the two roles in my head,” she said. “I feel very differently when I’m playing Sally versus when I am the choreographer, so a big part of the process for me is letting go of one while I’m engaged in the other. It is indeed a juggle.”
Scott contrasted the energy of Berlin night life with the underlying theme. “’Cabaret’ is a fun show, but it also contains a lot of darkness. It depicts the beginnings of Hitler’s rise to power and the fall of the Weimar Republic, so there is a sense of doom inherent in the show,” she said.
    “Given everything going on politically right now, it is rather timely, I think.…’Cabaret’ is an important reminder of what we don’t want to see happen ever again.”
    She said the entire company is “making a solid effort to make this a great production. The cast, orchestra and crew are made up mostly of students and most of them are working very hard. It is inspiring for me to see, as an educator. As for me as an actor, it has been quite humbling to be on stage again after almost a decade….It has been fun. I love acting.”
    In addition to Roman and Scott, Jeffrey Meyer, assistant professor of Music, directs the orchestra. Dr. Donald Callen Freed and Lana Potts are also musical directors.
    Other cast members include: Jason Roman, Fort Davis (Master of Ceremonies); Theseus Francis, Alpine (Ernst Ludwig); Westin Huffman, Fort Davis (Customs Official, Swing/Ensemble member); Lizzie Simpson, Marfa (Fraulein Schneider); Ashley Page, Alpine (Fraulein Kost/Kit Kat Girl Fritzie); George Knapp, Houston (Rudy, a sailor, Swing/Ensemble); Collyn Glaspie, Alpine (Herr Schultz); Braydon Clues, Katy (Max); Callie Jones, Midland (Gorilla and Kit Kat Girl, Texas).
    Other Kit Kat Girls are: Gabby Rule, Brady (Rosie); Sedia Woods, Houston (Lulu); Larissa Weaverling, Midland (Frenchie); Malyssa Reed, Katy (Helga). Kit Kat Boys are: Fernando Powers, Fort Stockton  (Bobby); David Garcia, Alpine (Victor); Max Lannom, Fort Davis (Hans); Marcelino Velazquez, Alpine (Herman).
    Other Swing/Ensemble members are: Michael Amerson, Fresno; Chinasa Okorocha, Pfluegerville; Andrea Bode, Georgetown; Aracely Guerrero, El Paso; and Diff Torres, Van Horn.
    For more information, contact Roman, (432) 837-8219 or droman@sulross.edu.

Marjie Scott (center), as Sally Bowles, rehearses musical number in “Cabaret.” (Photo by Gunner Gardner)
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