Photo By: Visarut Pawawongsak
The Department of Theatre and Dance’s upcoming production, “Sweeny Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street,” is being ambitiously reinvented, and it promises to offer an experience unlike the typical Troy University musical.
This production of Sweeney Todd strays from the norm, as it forgoes the implementation of a robust set. Co-director and set designer Robert McRae created an environment he calls “suggestive and barebones.”
“The show uses a lot of physical theatricality,” said McRae, who is also a senior theater major.
“We never went very literal in our setting or staging. In a lot of a ways, it’s a subtler retelling of the show.”
The show will have a more intimate setting, as audience members will be seated onstage.
“Most of our musicals are big with big sets and big budgets,” McRae said.
He ensured, however, that “Sweeney Todd” was just as powerful as any of the bigger shows.
“Sweeney Todd” begins showing on Sunday at 2:30 p.m., and it will also show on Monday at 9:15 p.m. and Tuesday at 7:30 p.m.
Unfortunately, the show has already sold out.
Preparation for the show has been a challenge for the cast, as many members were also a part of “Chicago.”
“We just closed ‘Chicago’ roughly four weeks ago, and we hadn’t been able to have many rehearsals before that, so 85 percent of the work has been done in the last four weeks,” McRae said.
Once again the department is putting on a production that has been recently popularized by a movie.
Tim Burton’s adaptation of “Sweeney Todd,” starring Johnny Depp, was released in 2007.
McRae ensured that people coming to see geysers of blood and extravagance would be disappointed, which was in tune with the entire productions minimalist philosophy.
“We don’t need all those things to tell a strong story. We need talented actors, a few props, and a wonderful vision from the directorial and production.”