By: ANTHONY AYALA
IU South Bend’s Theatre and Dance department is putting on the 55th Annual Children’s Show, “A Peter Rabbit Tale” by Sarah Brandt, and its cast and crew has quite the theatrical pedigree.
Nicholas Sikorski, the director for “A Peter Rabbit Tale,” has been involved in theatre for six years. His first experience was in 2011, when he light-designed Riley High School’s “Grease.” Sikorski hopes to gain new insights on different approaches and techniques when it comes to directing. Sikorski describes his role as “guiding the actors in their connections with their characters and to help them understand their relationships with other characters.”
A “Peter Rabbit Tale” is also a musical, which presents extra challenges for Sikorski.
“With this being a musical, I also have to be aware of what movements they can make while still being able sing properly. I am expected to know our characters, to be able to give insight to what I feel the writer is trying to convey about the characters, their sense of being.”
Also working on the production is Tyler Marcotte, the musical director, who grew up with theatre. Both her mother and grandmother were involved in theatre. Marcotte became involved in theatre during her time at Marian High school, both her sophomore and senior years. She began as stage crew, then took on stage makeup, and performed in a couple of shows.
As the Musical Director, Marcotte said she is in charge of teaching the music to the cast, as well as working with them on timing and placement in the voice.
“I take my role in more of a vocal director kind of way, meaning I coach the cast on where they should be placing the notes in their range, as well as helping them find a healthy place. I help them find a good medium of meaning in their voices, and conveying the story through the song,” Marcotte said.
Marcotte hopes to build upon her experience and further her understanding of what it means to be a successful musical director.
“This is another way I can be a part of theatre,” Marcotte said. “I want to be as versatile as possible going out into the field, and this has been an amazing opportunity for me to grow, and hone my skills as a director.”
Dayandra De Miranda-Leao, who will play the lead role of Peter Rabbit, was first cast as Buffy the Vampire Slayer in a middle school “Dracula” play. De Miranda-Leao was involved in every show that her high school put on until she graduated. After that she attended summer camps including one focused on Shakespeare at IU Bloomington.
“The experience has been absolutely amazing so far,” De Miranda-Leao said about working on the production. “This show has been created primarily by students here at IUSB, with the faculty coming in and giving support when needed. It’s been a pleasure working with my cast as well as being able to see how Nich Sikorski, the director, and Tyler Marcotte, the vocal director, have taken the leadership roles in stride.”
From Feb. 8 through Feb. 16, the company will perform two shows a day for local school children. Two public performances will be held Feb. 10 from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. in the Campus Auditorium located in Northside Hall. Tickets are $5 and can be purchased at the Box Office in Northside Hall. Each ticket sale benefits the theatre and dance scholarships.
Students can attend the show for free with their school ID.