New Student Musical “Hope/Who’s Waldo” Premieres in Cloak Theatre

Lawrence University Musical Production, in conjunction with the Lawrence Theatre Arts department, presents “Hope/Who’s Waldo,” two one-act musicals presented within a single show.

The musical will be performed Friday, April 16 at 8 p.m. and Saturday April 17 at 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. in Lawrence’s Cloak Theatre in the Music-Drama Center, 420 E. College Ave., Appleton. Tickets, at $10 for adults and $5 for senior citizens and students, are available at the Lawrence Box Office, 920-832-6749.

The new work written by senior Nikko Benson with stage direction by junior Andi Rudd, explores opposite ends of the musical theatre spectrum.

“Hope,” the first half of the show, follows the struggles of a group of refugees as they attempt to escape a genocidal government. Removed from any specific historical or cultural context, the story explores the darkness of the human experience, calling into question the purpose of hope itself.

“Who’s Waldo,” is a contrastingly lighthearted story about the title character. An amnesiac, Waldo embarks on a journey of self-discovery as he travels the world of classic literature, meeting other characters along the way.

As the second half of the musical, “Who’s Waldo” raises the question of comedy’s role and placement in a production. The story wants the audience to wonder whether comedy exists to help us forget tragedy or to give us the hope we need in order to face it.