Friday, March 31, 2023

Before the Curtain Goes Up: A Chorus Line

David C Jones speaks with cultural consultant Carmen Aguirre about helping the students navigate the roles of the Latinx characters in the show when played by non-Latinx actors.

Studio 58 returns to the Waterfront Theatre on Granville Island for its annual musical. This year, the students from the professional theatre training program at Langara College take on the Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning musical A Chorus Line.

Offering a glimpse into the lives of a group of Broadway performers as they audition for the role of a lifetime, in an unexpected twist, they are asked to share their personal stories, and the performers open up about their childhoods, experiences in the business and the courage it takes to follow your dreams.

A Chorus Line is one of the most beloved shows in musical theatre history and I’m thrilled to share this iconic piece with Vancouver audiences,” says director Courtenay Dobbie. “This production stays true to A Chorus Line’s deepest theme – the artistic pursuit of a dancer following their hopes and dreams, and the defeat, as well as the glory, of it all.”

In this edition of Before The Curtain Goes Up, Vancouver Presents contributor David C Jones speaks with the production’s cultural consultant, Carmen Aguirre. With the musical featuring two Latinx characters, in this production, one of the two is played by a racialized non-Latinx actor, and the two understudies are also non-Latinx. Aguirre was brought on board to assist the actors as they navigate these roles.

“In a school setting, this is beyond fine: it’s exciting,” says Aguirre in an online note. “Because it forces the students to do the kind of research they might not do otherwise.”

A Chorus Line runs from February 2-19 at the Waterfront Theatre (1412 Cartwright St, Granville Island). Visit studio58.ca for tickets and information.

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