By Jeff Murphy, March 29, 2022
WARRENSBURG, MO – University of Central Missouri (UCM) Theatre and Dance and UCM Music
present the Broadway smash hit and Tony Award-winning musical “Fun Home.” Based on
the popular autobiographical graphic novel by Alison Bechdel, with music by Jeanine
Tesori and book and lyrics by Lisa Kron, the musical will be performed at UCM’s Highlander
Theatre at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, April 1-2; 2 p.m. Sunday, April 3; and 7:30
p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday, April 7-9. An ASL Interpreter will be provided
for the performance on April 7. The Sunday matinee on April 3 is pay-what-you-can
(minimum $1). As a content disclosure, those attending should be aware “Fun Home”
contains strong language and mild adult themes.
When her father dies unexpectedly, graphic novelist Alison dives deep into her past to tell the story of the volatile, brilliant, one-of-a-kind man whose temperament and secrets defined her family and her life. Moving between past and present, Alison relives her unique childhood playing at the family’s Bechdel Funeral Home, her growing understanding of her own sexuality, and the looming, unanswerable questions about her father’s hidden desires. “Fun Home” is a refreshingly honest, wholly original musical about seeing your parents through grown-up eyes.
When asked about bringing the show to life, Director Mary Trotter stated, “Working on ‘Fun Home’ has been a pure delight! Perhaps one of the more rewarding things has been watching this cast grow together as an ensemble and grow into these characters. ‘Fun Home’ follows Alison Bechdel at three stages of her life as she explores her own identity and the identity of her father. We get to see so many of these characters at their most pivotal moments. Because the show has roles for kids we have also had the opportunity to work with a few young actors from the community! It's been a joy to unite UCM students with these actors that are at the start of their theatrical career. ”
Alyce Wilson, a BFA Musical Theatre major who is playing the adult Alison added, “My experience with Fun Home has been nothing short of beautiful. To dive into a character based on a real person has been not only incredibly challenging, but also eye-opening. The story we’re telling is an important one, and though someone might think they couldn’t connect to the plot, they will find it has surprisingly universal themes. You will laugh, you will cry, and you might even walk away with a new perspective.”
For this performance, UCM Theatre and Dance was able to welcome Bart Williams, an associate professor at Southeast Missouri State University who specializes in Theatrical Intimacy Education, to work with the “Fun Home” cast as well as present a workshop for all theatre and dance students. Williams’ visit was made possible by the UCM Digital Learning and Instructional Innovation Speaker Series Grant. Additionally, Professional Costumer Victoria Soechting has been brought in to work with students as a Guest Costume Shop Manager for “Fun Home.” Her visit to UCM campus was made possible through the generosity of the Meridith Harmon Sauer Guest Artist Series.
The cast includes: Alyce Wilson as Alison, Emily Turner as Medium Alison, Holden Childress as Bruce Bechdel, Katie Kaminski as Helen Bechdel, Riley Given as Roy/Mark/Pete/Bobby Jeremy, Gracie Heath as Joan, Allia Ford as Small Alison, Penelope Walker as John Bechdel, and Luca Jaccarino as Christian Bechdel. Understudies include: Katie Marshall as Alison/Helen Bechdel, Gracie Heath as Medium Alison, Finn Juliano as Bruce Bechdel, Mark/Pete/Bobby Jeremy, Molly Ross as Joan, Hayden Starbuck as Small Alison, Henry Newsom as John Bechdel and Abram Brown as Christian Bechdel.
The crew includes: Director Mary Trotter, Music Director Daniel Doss, Stage Manager Madison Skiljan, Scenic Design/Production Manager Joseph Burkard, Lighting and Sound Design Benjamin Gonzales, Costume Design Jennifer Van Buskirk, Hair and Makeup Design Allison Winsby, Props Designers Sapphire Engel and Molly Blackburn, Technical Director Seth Holt, Costume Shop Manager Victoria Soechting, Choreographer Miranda Muenz, Intimacy Coordinators Mary Trotter and Bart Williams, Child Wrangler Kierra Kellum, Assistant Directors Luke Habjan and Eileen Montgomery, Assistant Stage Manager Dakota Crispin, Assistant Lighting Design/Master Electrician Seth Sneary, Assistant Costume Design Wesley Freeman, Sound Engineer Cal Hoffman, Wardrobe Supervisor Hollie Neumann, Wardrobe Crew Molly Blackburn and Sasha Fuller, Costume Shop Staff Maryn Edwards, Hollie Neumann, Allison Winsby, Kierra Kellum and Cydni Stanford, Hair/Makeup Crew Abbigayle Muller, Scene Charge Artist/Deck Chief Brittany Brandt, Running Crew Chistyn Chauvenne, Hanna Wilson, Scene Shop Staff THEA 1600 Stagecraft, Brittany Brandt, Emily Turner, Rachel Curry, Light Board Operator Camber Savala-Jackson, House Managers Ansley Walker and Mallory Griffin, Box Office Manager/Publicity and Marketing Director/Lead House Manager Dr. Aaron Scully, Publicity and Marketing Social Media Specialist Mallory Griffin., Marketing/Publicity Trailer Creator/Director Holden Childress, Graduate Shop Assistant Srikanth Sriramula, Office Professionals Mekdelawit Keller and Madison Skiljan.
Performing in the orchestra will be: Conductor/Keyboards, Daniel Doss; Reed, Brett Jackson; Guitars, Joe Levens; Violin/Viola, Ian Mitchell; Cello, Cameron Selbe; Bass, Daniel Allen; and Percussion, Daniel Blackburn.
Tickets are available from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in Martin 113, by calling 660-543-8811 or online. Anyone who has questions about tickets should please call 660-543-8811 and leave a voicemail or email firstname.lastname@example.org.