The musical is in rehearsals for its December 9, 2009, premiere in Chicago at the Ford Center for the Performing Arts Oriental Theatre. Following its Chicago run, the show will preview on March 4, 2010, at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre in New York City, with an official opening April 8. Lane and Neuwerth, who are both winners of the Tony Award, will appear as Gomez and Morticia in the new musical.
Herrington, who hopes to continue with the company when they leave Chicago for New York, got her break through her summer internship with Theatre Aspen in Colorado.
“As I was wrapping up my senior year at Culver, I was trying to figure out what to do after graduation, so I Google-searched the Aspen area because that’s where my mother lives. I found Theatre Aspen on line and called them. They were so friendly and told me to send my résumé and a cover letter. Within two weeks, they called me back; and I was set for the internship,” Herrington said.
Herrington spent her summer in Colorado working with the company, primarily doing administrative work, but also sitting in on rehearsals for the summer production of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee and taking notes for the director of Chapter Two. Herrington worked closely with the company’s artistic director, Paige Price, whose husband is doing sound for The Addams Family Musical.
“It’s all about making connections and who you know in this business,” Herrington laughed. “Toward the end of the summer, Paige asked me what I wanted to do next; I told her I really wanted to go to Chicago; and she called her husband to find out if there was room on the production staff of The Addams Family Musical. By Saturday, I had the position. Anything is a possibility when you know the right people.”
“I won’t really know what I’m doing until I get there in a few weeks,” she added. “But I’ve already been told to learn where the nearest FedEx, Kinko’s and Starbucks are.”
Herrington came to Culver-Stockton to major in nursing and didn’t completely narrow her choice to theatre until her senior year. Along the way, she also acquired a bachelor’s degree in history.
“I’ve had two great departments at Culver-Stockton backing me up. My education was so well-rounded and so useful, and I didn’t even realize it fully until I left college,” Herrington said. “But I’ve already been able to use my history as well as my theatre successfully in the ‘real world.’”
“What I’ve learned is that if you want something to happen, go out and do the work to make it happen,” Herrington added. “You need to do what makes you happy, and as long as I’m working for a theatre, as long as I’m involved with theatre working toward something that’s important to me, I’m happy. I love what I’m doing.”
In addition to Herrington, other recent graduates from the Culver-Stockton theatre program also are meeting with career success. Daniel Coffman, class of 2009, is living and working in Los Angeles as a ballroom dance instructor and competitive dancer and just completed shooting a horror film. Bethany Shannon, who graduated in arts management in 2008, is working for the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. Conya Thompson (2005), and Ashlee Ingram (2004) are both working at theatres in the Branson, Mo., area. Thompson is a costumer with the Shoji Tabuchi Theatre, and Ingram is both a performer and in group sales at Shepherd of the Hills Playhouse.
Some recent C-SC theatre graduates are pursuing advanced degrees, including: Sarah Breyne (2009), opera and theatre, University of Sussex, London, England; Heather Meyer (2008), theatre, Oklahoma State University; Wilhelmina McLafferty (2007), theatre (MA) and English (PhD), Oklahoma State University; Emily Parker (2007), costume design, University of Nebraska-Lincoln / Johnny Carson School; Leslie Forrester (2007) arts management, arts administration, Southern Utah University; and Rodney Donahue (2005), theatre (PhD), Texas Tech.
"We are proud of the work all of our graduates accomplish post graduation,” said Haidee Heaton, C-SC associate professor of theatre. “We help them find their strengths, what they truly love to do; but they are the ones that make it happen."
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