Freshman theatre majors didn’t have much time to settle in at NSU before getting hit with their first assignment: preparing for “New Faces,” a one night only show on Monday, September 10.
“New Faces” is always the first show of the semester that the theatre department produces in the fall semester. It is meant as an introduction to the theatre department for those new at NSU.
Students register through the Intro to Theatre class, and each person performs an individual piece of their choosing. From behind the scenes, each student is assigned an upperclassman as a coach to help with their piece, whether they be focusing on Musical Theatre, Dance or Performance/Directing.
Emma Rivet, a senior advising two freshmen on their performances, said coaching typically consists of helping students find material and ensuring they are performance-ready. This year, a total of 71 incoming freshman will be on the stage for “New Faces.”
Payton Hartwick, the Artistic and Production Director of “New Faces,” is more than excited to be heading this year’s production. She chose the opening act to be a number from the musical “Legally Blonde.”
The storyline of the show will feature the freshmen going from high school and jumping headfirst into the Theatre department and learning the ropes and demands. Songs like “Find My Way” and “What You Want” will tie into this theme.
Hartwick wants the students to get a sense of the work ethic, passion and creativity that the department strives for and apply it to their future careers.
“It’s almost surreal to think back when I was a freshman [and] how scared and nervous I was coming into this,” Hartwick said. “Now being in this position, it feels rewarding to give these freshmen the same experience I got when I was like them.”
For a few of the other students with history in the department, Thomas Hadzeriga, an acting director for “New Faces” and recurring coach fondly remembers performing an Olan Rogers monologue about his time in a Target bathroom. It wasn’t a traditional theatre piece, so his focus during rehearsal was to change the piece to a unique theatrical direction.
“Coming into this department is your own journey,” Hadzeriga said. “Whether or not you decide to stick with it is on you. It shows when you are trying and it makes a better impression.”