Olivet’s theatre department is preparing to let the dice roll in this spring’s Broadway musical production of Guys and Dolls.
According to director and Olivet graduate Ashley Sarver, this musical comedy features flamboyant gambling, the oddest of romances, and quirky, but loveable characters.
Graduate assistant, and interim head of the theater department, Sarver says that this show will be a breath of fresh air for the viewers. She continued to say that the show is full of captivating musical numbers and comedic dialogue. The audience will be left laughing as they fall in love with characters like Sky Masterson, Sarah Brown, Nathan Detroit, Miss Adelaide, and Arvide Abernathy, portrayed by Olivet’s own president, Dr. John Bowling.
The story follows gambler, Nathan Detroit in his quest to find the perfect space for his underground game. Meanwhile, his 14-year engagement to Miss Adelaide drags on as she works relentlessly to convince him to marry her. A second gambler, Sky Masterson receives a bet that he can get stubborn mission worker, Sarah Brown, to go out with him.
Guys and Dolls will feature something brand new to Olivet: a scenic projection system purchased from Hollywood. According to Sarver, this system will help bring a Broadway feeling to Kresge Auditorium.
Participating in his first show here at Olivet, freshman Jackson Thornhill, is playing the role of Nathan Detroit. He describes his character as quirky, smart, and a little rambunctious—with commitment issues. Thornhill is grateful for the diverse group of cast and crew members that start as friends and turn into family.
Hotbox and chorus member, sophomore Hannah Jones, says Guys and Dolls is also her first musical at Olivet; however, she participated in shows in high school.
“I really missed doing theater; I’m so glad to be back in it. No one is perfect yet, so I like the fun that we can have when we’re all learning together,” Jones said.
Sarver enjoys watching her vision for the show come to life as well as seeing how the students are developing their characters and growing in their love for theater. For students who wish to get involved, but are not interested in acting or being on stage, she says that there are plenty of other opportunities and needs within the theater program. Additional roles include costumes and makeup, set design and building, production and lights, tech and stage crew, as well as opportunities in marketing and public relations for the show.
Sarver, Jones, and Thornhill recognize the time commitment that being a part of a production entails, however, each affirms to prospective participants that it is worth it.
“Dr. Bowling’s in it so… do it for Dr. Bowling,” Jones said.
Performances will be held Feb. 23 and 24 at 7:00 pm and Feb. 25 at 2:00 and 7:00 pm in Kresge Auditorium.