UNF will hold its very first musical next semester, thanks to Musical theater club. The production “9 to 5” will have three performances from February 15 to 16 at the Andrew A. Robinson Theater on campus. The show will be open to the public and free, although donations are accepted.
Madeline Aquino, president of the Musical Theater Club, said the show has been on since April, but there is still a long way to go.
According to Cat Burns, the show’s director, “9 to 5” follows the story of three women in the late 1970s who struggle against sexist ideals in the workplace.
Aquino said that the times when actors can provoke “real emotion out of the wrong circumstances” are the raison d’être of the theater. She explained that the characters and fights in the musical they chose are relevant and that the show has a good message.
“I personally think it’s a great first show for us,” Aquino said. “We wanted something fun, heartfelt and we could find inexpensive costumes in thrift stores.”
Anyone in Jacksonville, young, old, college student or non-student, had the chance to audition. However, non-students are not allowed to receive student government funding. Therefore, non-students of the musical had to pay fees for their costume, food, and more.
At a meeting of the Budget and Allocations Committee, UNF Senator Kyle Cohen said club members represent almost every department on campus and that this variety of majors help spread information about the club and musical.
In their presentation to the B&A committee, Aquino and Tajti said that as of August 29, they have raised nearly $ 2,000 through donations, a GoFundMe campaign and a Chipotle fundraiser. The committee approved their request for funding, allocating them approximately $ 9,000 for the musical.
Aquino, a major in biomedical sciences, founded the club with nursing major Dominik Tajti, who is now the club’s vice president. They are only in their second year, but they are already making history at UNF.
In the past, the UNF had little to do with musical theater. This is something students like Aquino had to overcome, until last year.
“I had accepted that when I went to UNF, it would be the end of my drama days,” Aquino said. “The UNF is not known for the theater, and that’s one of the reasons I dragged my feet when I applied. “
When Tajti came to Aquino with the plan to start a musical theater club, she hesitated, but said yes. The first meeting was made up of very few people. However, each meeting subsequently grew in number. Aquino said that “the club started with just 12 students in 2016, and they are now over 60”.
The group has come a long way and, according to Aquino, they have become family. They fought together to make this musical possible, and they continue to look to the future, hoping for the best for the club.
Burns’ hope for the club is that the UNF will one day be known as a theater school.
Their next event will take place on October 6 at 7:30 p.m. in building 14 D, room 1700. It is the Wicked Double Feature, where they will show the 2008 musical “Dr. Horrible’s Sing Along Blog”, as well as the 2002 musical “Chicago”.
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