Published: April 25, 2017

Musical Theatre Touring Company makes its debut

Contact(s): Dave Wendelberger Theater cell: (262) 853-1412, Kimberly Popiolek College of Arts and Letters office: (517) 432-1561

The Michigan State University Department of Theatre's new Musical Theatre Touring Company will have their premiere at the Friends of Theatre "A Bite of Broadway" gala on May 10 at Wharton Center.

The Musical Theatre Touring Company is under the direction of Brad Willcuts and Alisa Hauser with musical direction by Dave Wendelberger. It features students Anna Birmingham, Emma Callis, Jacob Covert, Sarah Davis, Katelyn Hodge, Lukas Jacob, Melanie Vandenberg and Max Sanders with Taylor Mcphail as swing.

Joining the company in the premiere at "A Bite of Broadway" is Courtney Holbrook, a special guest artist from Broadway. Holbrook appeared in "Kinky Boots" on Broadway as Nicola and in "Les Misérables." She also appeared in Wharton Center touring productions as Wednesday in "The Addams Family" and in "Legally Blonde."

The company is a group of elite students from the musical theatre immersion program who auditioned for this new initiative this spring. The group, part of a collaboration with Wharton Center for Performing Arts and the College of Arts and Letters’ Department of Theatre, will take musical theatre performances on the road as an example of experiential learning. 

Willcuts says the group was created in a way that it can be shaped for various occasions.

"We chose to create a musical theatre company because it can appeal to various organizations including those not necessarily familiar with theatre in general. Musicals can reach all sorts of people, groups and events," he says. "This touring company could feasibly perform for a very large range of events since the range of musical styles is equally as large."