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McPherson College Presents Popular Classic Musical, 'The Music Man'

posted Feb 17, 2012 in CAMPUS EVENTS

To sell a ticket to the next show in McPherson College’s Brown Auditorium, you don’t need to go much farther than the title: “The Music Man.”

Even since the show by Meredith Wilson hit the Broadway stage in 1957 and won five Tony awards, “The Music Man” has been one of the most consistently popular musicals on professional, amateur and college stages. It will show at McPherson College Feb. 23 to 25 starting at 7:30 p.m.

For the uninitiated, “The Music Man” tells the story of Harold Hill – played by Jacob Locke, sophomore, Wichita, Kan., - a professional con man who makes his living going from town to town convincing people to place instrument orders for a youth band, then skipping town with the cash. That is, until he falls in love with the local librarian named Marian – played by E.H. Petropulos, sophomore, Larksupr, Colo.
The charm of the musical comes from the catchy songs – such as “Seventy-Six Trombones”, “Goodnight, My Someone” and “Shipoopi” – and watching the stoic townspeople discover joy in life as a result of possibilities offered by the con. This change will be in the MC production as the color scheme gradually turns from black and white to full color.

“The Music Man” has a massive cast, which provides an opportunity expand the cast beyond McPherson College. “The Music Man” is being produced in collaboration with McPherson High School, said Jd. Bowman associate professor of theatre, to help MC students experience another format in the world of theatre.

“We do these collaborations to help our students realize that a performance is more than just about their own craft,” he said. “It is also about whom they work with and how they work with others.”

Sarah Schowengerdt, sophomore, McPherson, Kan., was involved with the last collaborative show at the college – “Children of Eden”, a retelling of stories from Genesis. Only then she was involved as a high school student.

“Hanging out with the older kids makes you feel legitimate,” she said. “People who are seriously pursuing theatre lets you know that it’s OK to do this in college.”

Schowengerdt said she has been impressed with the full cast and crew, both in college and high school.

“We have some really talented voices and really enthusiastic kids all around,” she said.

Tickets to all shows cost $5 for adults and $3.50 for children ages high school and younger as well as seniors. Reservations may be made by contacting the theatre box office at 620-242-0444 or at

In addition to Locke, Petropulos and Schowengerdt, the college cast of “The Music Man” includes: Isaac Levin, junior, Dighton, Kan.; Cody Taylor, junior, Springville, Iowa; Kristie Gutierrez, sophomore, Quinter, Kan.; Kyle Dilley, sophomore, Parker, Kan.; Grahm Mahanna, junior, Hoxie, Kan.; Ady Dreier, junior, Newton, Kan.; Mona Hale, senior, McPherson, Kan.; Laurina Hannan, freshman, Wamego, Kan.; Ashlie Manzi, sophomore, Goddard, Kan.; Emily Donell, senior, Wichita, Kan.; Jordan Hargitt, sophomore, Quinter, Kan.; Matthew Watkins, sophomore, Wichita, Kan.; Mark Dowdy, senior, Huntingdon, Pa.; Taylor Adams, junior, Ashland, Va.; Kory Hiebert, senior, Goessel, Kan.; Adam James, senior, Moundridge, Kan.; Preston Mossman, sophomore, McPherson, Kan.; Emilee Reinert, junior, Tipton, Kan.; and Justin Biegger, junior, Fuquay Varina, N.C.

Cast members from McPherson High School and the McPherson community include: Hannah Martin, Jake Frye, Joynna Burns, Micah Black, Ethan Winter, Logan Schrag, Doralyn Mellinger, Megan Avila, Brooke Gaeddert, Haley Delaney, Bre Love, Casey Gregory, Morita Penning, Kerrick van Asselt, TJ Smith, Chris Rokowski, Samantha Silver, Grace Heidebrecht, Kasee Tully, Hannah Marshall, Shane Kirchner, Hannah Kirchner, Abbey Paulsen and Ben Hopkins.

Crew includes: staging by Alex Tyler, theatre teacher at MHS, and Jd. Bowman, associate professor of theatre; choreography by Emily Donell, senior, Wichita, Kan.; Musical direction by Nick Griggs, choir director at MHS, and Dr. Steven Gustafson, professor of music; technical direction by Ethan Quinn, sophomore, Muskegon, Mich.; set and costume design by Dr. Rick Tyler, professor of speech and theatre.

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