Minnesota State University, Mankato’s Drama and Dance Department kicks off its main season this week with the musical “HMS Pinafore: How a Lass Loved a Sailor”.
The play is a British operetta written by Gilbert and Sullivan, poking fun at the sensibilities of the Victorian era. The story follows Josephine, the captain’s daughter who falls in love with Rafe, a humble sailor. Drawing satirical aspects and light opera music, he includes tendencies similar to Monty Python.
While live shows are back on stage, the presence of COVID-19 is still there. Director Heather Hamilton made sure the cast and crew were following not only state guidelines, but University guidelines as well.
” Since [social distancing] mandate has been lifted, we are following the same parameters as athletics, ”said Hamilton. “Everyone in the cast has to be vaccinated or have weekly tests, and then we wear masks whenever we’re not on stage. “
Jace Gray stars as Sir Joseph Porter, KCB, the admiral of the English navy who is believed to be married to Josephine, without her knowing she’s crazy about Rafe. Gray said he was delighted to see the reaction to their hard work pay off in front of a live audience. After the pandemic, he’s happy to be back to the way the theater is supposed to be.
“Last year we did a lot of shows where we performed live, but we were masked and had a much smaller audience,” Gray said. “It’s so much better to know that there will be more people and not to have a piece of cloth over your face, which is good for safety, but bad for singing.”
Being able to have live shows again is something that not only the cast craved, but the team as well. Director Nick Wayne is thrilled that everyone is coming together to share stories with audiences once again.
“I know that for the cast, the musicians and all the artists involved, you have to get [those feelings] outside, ”Wayne said. “It has been very uplifting and rewarding to do this. “
With lots of laughs, detailed costumes and a story of doomed lovers, “HMS Pinafore” is sure to bring the audience a great time. Sophomore Sydney Belonge, who plays Josephine, said she hopes audiences have fun with the magic of vocals and live music.
“It’s a fun show that’s exciting and not too hard to digest,” Belonge said. “I want people to have wild imaginations. “
“HMS Pinafore” will take place at the Ted Paul Theater September 23-25 and again September 30-October 3. Doors open at 7:30 pm Tickets are $ 16 for MNSU students and $ 24 for the general public.