HOMECOMING: Washburn Theatre presents new musical “Anderson: A fairy tale life”

Regina Cassell, director of Student Media and senior lecturer in mass media, and June McCarty, Washburn alum and writer of “Anderson: A Fairy Tale Life”, talk about the musical. The conversation was held at the musical.

Presenting the young life of Anderson and his path to success, students from Washburn gave a mesmerizing performance on Oct.21 at the Neese-Gray Theater in Garvey Hall 130.

Anderson: A Fairy Tale Life, is a wondrous tale that weaves together the biography of Hans Christian Anderson written by June McCarty Claire, who graduated in 1966 from Washburn.

The play was a magnificent representation of a naive, gawky boy born into poverty who follows his dreams. It showed the perseverance of the protagonist with supportive characters that made the show exuberant. The musical brought the innocence of the character, Anderson, to life which kept me engaged emotionally.

Joseph Coddington, a senior voice performance major, played the role of Hans. Presented with such honesty and gracefulness, he was truly capable of encapsulating the naivety of the character.

Watching the students act and sing really showed the hard work behind the production. From time oriented costume design, music from an orchestra team ranging from upbeat to melancholy tunes, lighting and directing, everything was perfect.

The musical also marked the 50th reunion of students who went to Copenhagen decades ago. With the presence of Washburn Alumni along with the protagonist of the play that was held decades ago, the event carried a wistful importance. Furthermore, the event featured three generational actors from Teri Walton’s family and other Washburn graduates.

Writing a play and watching it being performed by actors after 50 years, “Musicals are one of the most collaborative of the art forms. It is very labor intensive, and it takes a lot of people to put it on,” said McCarty.

“The process of learning the play was a lot of hard work but that’s kind of what happens for all the shows but the end is always fun. I feel great to see all of our hard work finally coming together,” said Anne-marie Anderson, who played the mother of Christian Anderson.

The event brought together a long anticipated reunion. Getting an opportunity to witness a delicate and heart filling musical alongside Washburn Aluminis was truly a wonderful opportunity.

Edited By: LeSha’ Davis and Simran Shrestha