Cast, crew begin hyping Bat Boy
October 17, 2005 —
This fall's SVSU theatre production of the musical Bat Boy is gaining hype and piquing curiosity around campus as cast, crew, and directors use creative means to promote their upcoming show in hopes of gaining the campus' attention.
"We've got a number of things planned for next week that I think are going to be fun and at least raise the awareness of on-campus students and probably some off-campus students that might be eating down at the RFoC and other places around campus," says Director Steven Erickson, professor of theatre at SVSU.
Erickson says the department will be using some of the props from the play in what they are calling "cow walk," and passing out fliers about the show.
"We're also going to cage up our bat boy or put it in our cage that we'll be using on stage in a couple different locations and have a raffle for people that go by," he adds. "It will be an opportunity to win a couple free tickets."
Along with cages and artificial emaciated cows, the cast and crew have already participated in inventive advertising, including sporting pins made of toy bats and creating short media previews on the musical that will air over campus TV's this week.
Aside from the challenge of promoting their upcoming production, crew and cast members have been working overtime to ensure a superb show for the campus community.
"We have people that haven't ever sang before or choreographed dance before, and there's two or three really big dance numbers, says senior Mat Easterwood, 22, of Gladwin. "We spent the first two or three weeks doing nothing but singing and then we went through and started choreographing blocking and that's an insane amount of work."
Bay Boy is a unique production due to the diverse genre of music it includes.
"It's a different kind of production," Erickson says. "'Fiddler on the Roof' and 'Man of la Manchra' were both big musicals but they were more traditional musicals. This one is a very contemporary, very off beat production similar to Rocky Horror Picture Show, minus the audience participation geared for younger audiences."
Erickson says the music is "real upbeat" and includes many different styles of music. The play has numerous rock and roll and rap songs, but also a gospel song, a country song, and a couple of the "stylized big show tunes."
The challenges that come along with a production of this depth can vary.
"It's such an ensemble show that everybody really has to work together because it's a very difficult show to do, explains junior Chad Baker, 20, of Burton, starring in the lead role of Bat Boy. "It's a rock musical, so it's a lot more difficult than you would expect compared to a typical musical."
Baker also says there are some interesting obstacles that can occur when preparing for a unique role such as Bat Boy.
"The teeth are a little hard to get used to," he says. "They get in the way a lot."
With Halloween approaching, the ensemble of fake teeth, blood, and rock n' roll would not be complete without a band, Easterwood says.
"To top it off," he says, "we've got a band that's going to start practicing with us this week: two pianists, a guitarist, a bass player, and a drummer."
Cast and crew anticipate surprise and awe from their audience because of the unique script and score of the musical.
"I look forward to seeing everyone's reactions," Baker says, "because it's a good show. It also has some controversial aspects to it, and we're waiting so see how people react to that,"
The musical will be on stage in the Performing Arts Theatre throughout the end of October. Show times include Friday, Oct. 21 and Saturday, Oct. 22 at 7:30 p.m.; Sunday, Oct. 23, at 2 p.m.; Friday, Oct. 28 and Saturday, Oct. 29 at 7:30 p.m.; and a final show will be performed on Halloween, Monday, Oct. 31, at 2 p.m.