Nikko Benson

Tag: Nikko Benson

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.

Lawrence University Presents World Premiere of “When the War is Done”

APPLETON, WIS. — When Charlotte King traveled abroad to France on a study-abroad program in the fall of 2007, the Lawrence University senior theatre and French major had no idea she would come across a piece of French theatre that would become the basis of her senior project.

The result is the world premiere of the Lawrence student-produced musical “When the War is Done.” The story of German-occupied France in 1942 will be performed April 24-25 at 8 p.m. and April 25 at 3 p.m. in Lawrence’s Cloak Theatre, 420 E. College Ave. A free dress rehearsal performance will be staged Thursday, April 23 at 8 p.m. Tickets, at $10 for adults and $5 for students, are available through the Lawrence Box Office, 920-832-6749.

While working as a diction coach for French playwright Marie-Celine Lachaud, King discovered Lachaud had written a book and lyrics for a musical entitled “Quand la guerre est finie” based on the book. The story follows several French citizens as they navigate the rapidly-changing world of the Nazi occupation. Some choose to work with the Resistance while others refuse to believe the horrors of the war are actually happening.

For this premiere, author Norman Stokle wrote an English translation of Lachaud’s original script. King and junior composition major Nikko Benson translated Lachaud’s lyrics for the production, which featured new arrangements of the hauntingly beautiful original score written by London composer Nicholas Skilbeck.

Senior Peter Welch directs the production, while Benson is the musical director and 2007 Lawrence graduate Katrina Schuster designed the show’s costumes.

The production contains some adult language and several scenes of violence.