Morgan Rothwell’s Tent Theatre Debut
I am a musical theatre girl at heart. There is something about a jazzy score, tight harmonies, polished choreography, and bright lights that give me goosebumps. Not only is Catch Me If You Can (CMIYC) all of those things, but it’s also a “chase story wrapped up in a redemption story,” as our director, Christy Montour-Larson would say. Based on the real-life events of Frank W. Abagnale Jr, CMIYC is a whirlwind of adventure, wealth, love, and a little bit of crime. Since the story is told from Frank Jr.’s perspective, this show is full of his colorful fantasies, and that’s where I come in! From Elmer’s glue to a sexy nurse, I get to highlight the spectacle of this fantastic journey. Working at Tent Theatre has been a complete delight for this Oklahoma girl as this cast and production team has taken me into their community with open arms.
The highlight of working on this show has to be working with our talented choreographer (or as she would say, “dance-maker”), Sarah Wilcoxon. With our ensemble women taking on the roles of go-go dancers, showgirls, flight attendants, nurses, and more, Sarah has differentiated choreography between each character seamlessly. Her vision and motivation behind the movements are what make her choreography remarkable. She uses dance to make a statement when necessary and as an additive when the plot needs the spotlight. Most of all, it is obvious that Sarah cares about her dancers. She sees to physical needs, highlights individual ability, and values their artistry. Without the music direction of Heather Chittenden Luellen and assistance of Parker Payne, I would have been at a loss musically. Their rehearsal recordings and willingness to plunk out parts are what enable the cast to tackle this monster of a show. Heather is a pro when it comes to the Tent, providing great direction and encouragement. Just ask any Missouri State student; she is the tops. It has been an honor to be a part of her 25th season! Finally, with Christy’s vision and dedication, this show gains its strength. Her attention to detail makes her direction precise and gives authenticity to the tale of Frank Jr.
I am so grateful to have my first professional theatre contract with Tent Theatre. It has been such a wonderful introduction into the world of high caliber theatre. Each department of tech, stage management, costuming, sound, and lighting devote themselves entirely to producing quality theatre, which is so special. All are focused on the bigger picture, allowing the community of Springfield to enjoy a story. I will not forget the summer I got to share in this narrative with these people. Get your tickets while you still have the chance! We hope you love it as much as we have loved putting it together.
– Morgan Rothwell