Actors play their dream roles at UW-Fox musical

The show’s cast featured roles from a variety of settings and backgrounds. • photo by Gabrielle Sturm

The UW-Fox musical Dream Role 6 gave 120 actors an opportunity to perform a role in a song that they’ve always dreamed of performing in.

Students and community members starred in 24 different acts involved in the musical.

According to the show’s director, Susan Rabideau, Dream Role gave actors, directors or choreographers the chance to perform any act they wish, regardless of the age or gender the role is traditionally intended for.

“It’s all of the roles that actors dream about, but can’t do,” Rabideau said.

One of the synchronized dance routines performers learned during “Dream Role’s” rehearsal time. • photo by Gabrielle Sturm

Dream Role 6 introduced 18 new songs, but they bring back six mainstays each year.

“We have done radio hits, Broadway hits. So each [song] has a different twist on it,” Rabideau said.

The show consisted of 90 minutes of Broadway hits. Gabby Paul, a sophomore at the UW-Fox Valley, participated in seven of the 24 acts.

“It probably would’ve been hard [balancing school and participating in theater] if it [were] my first semester here. This is my fourth semester here, so I learned how to balance things or prioritize other things,” Paul said.

This musical featured actors ranging from four to 70 years old.

At times, the show caused stress for the actors.

“Sometimes it can be a little overwhelming,” Jenifer Steffens, an actress in the musical, said.

Steffens has been involved in Dream Role for five out of the six years they have run this musical.

Connie Schuster, another actor, has participated in Dream Role for the last four years. She considered this show especially challenging because each actor had only four hours to rehearse this musical. This required a lot of time spend outside of rehearsal to learn and memorize the different dance routines.

“This show in particular was challenging. There was a lot of dance. For this show you had to practice outside of the days that we [were] here. Because you only have four practices for each of the songs, you have to practice outside. You’re expected to [practice], and [if you] are told if you don’t make the cut, then [they] will take you [out of] the show. It just requires more outside work, which isn’t bad,” Schuster said.

Each actor had only four hours to rehearse this musical on set. This required a lot of time spend outside of rehearsal to learn and memorize the different dance routines.

Paul said the most challenging part of this musical was learning all the different dances for each song. She mentioned how she wasn’t much of a dancer and learning dances were difficult for her.

“Dancing while singing [was challenging]. A lot of people underestimate that’s a lot of work. Try running on a treadmill and singing something and making it sound good. It’s hard,” Paul said.

Paul, Steffens and Schuster agreed that the people involved in this musical made this musical fun.

The actors involved in this musical were full of energy and excitement.

“Their energy can be contagious. They make me even more excited about the show because they’re so excited about this show,” Schuster said.

An audience member, Jacob Schmelzer, and freshman at UW-Fox Valley appreciated the wide variety of musical selections.

“I think the musical was well done. One of the more diverse Dream Roles that I’ve seen in terms of song choice,” Schmelzer said.

The hit show sold out all five performances April 26–30, filling 1,200 seats.