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November 15, 2013


Playing Nice With The Other Kids

So, as Kevin mentioned in his most recent post, nobody’s alone. Everything we do is dependent on what other people bring to the table. There isn’t one thing that I do at Clark University that isn’t dependent on some other member of the Clark community. Let’s explore some things I did this week, presented to you, as always, in the form of a numbered list.

1. Sweeney Todd Sitzprobe


A “sitzprobe” is a hilarious German word for a rehearsal with instrumentalists and vocalists. Clark Musical Theatre (CMT) is putting on a production of Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street in December, and I (along with Dale and Melissa) am in the pit orchestra.

The first sitzprobe is usually kind of a mess. The vocalists have been doing their thing for a couple of weeks, they know how they like the songs to sound and have a pretty firm idea of what they want, but they’ve only been doing things with a piano in the background. Then the instrumentalists have their own idea for what the music sounds like, but without the singers. So working out cues and tempos and such things is usually as clean as my kitchen sink (read: not clean at all).

So it’s a totally difficult affair, but we pulled it together, and now Act I sounds really snazzy. The important thing is just to sit there and say “alright, you guys do it this way? That’ll sound cool. Let’s do that.”

2. Concert at Assumption College


Chapel of the Holy Spirit at Assumption College.


Sinfonia’s director, Peter Sulski, also teaches at Assumption College, one of the other schools in Worcester. His string ensemble there was having a concert on Thursday, and he invited us to come by to give them a little bit of  backup. They don’t have a bass player, so I went and filled in on that part. We had a quick rehearsal beforehand to get everything worked out, and it sounded awesome.

I had never met or played with any of these students before. I had never been to Assumption. But we all just sat down and pulled out our music and put on a really fun show like we had been playing together for ages.



An early scene from “Guy Code,” by Brendan Toussaint.


Clark has this really groovy festival called the New Play Festival. It’s a festival with new plays.

More specifically, it’s three weekends of student written plays. Six Clarkies wrote plays that other Clarkies performed in the Little Center, our black-box theater, and the whole thing is a really intense experience. It’s always cool to see actors put on a play that had formerly only existed as scratches on a page, but it’s even cooler to turn around and see the playwright, one of your friends, in the seat behind you, smiling and laughing at lines that she wrote months and months ago.

Playfest is really the summation of Clark’s collaborative community. It pulls a bunch of different students’ talents and creates something unique and beautiful that the rest of the community can enjoy.


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