The Drake University theater department will open its first unmasked show since before COVID this Thursday, March 31, with a musical titled “It Shoulda Been You.”
“We are going to do the show unmasked, which is really exciting,” said Miclo Gonzalez, a sophomore who plays the character of Albert the wedding planner.
Gonzalez said that, although he thinks that masks have made Drake theater students stronger actors and performers, the entire cast is looking forward to a return to normal performing.
“We have been getting PCR tests at Olmsted every single day just to make sure we are staying safe at rehearsals,” Gonzalez said.
According to Gonzalez, he and many of the students acting in “It Shoulda Been You” are underclassmen who have never performed in a Drake show before.
One such student is Abby Rogers, a sophomore playing the musical’s lead female Rebecca.
“I am looking forward to finally being able to perform again for the first time in over two years,” Rogers said.
According to Rogers, the removal of masks and other COVID protocols has allowed the musical’s director, Adam Yankowy, to teach the students more extensive “character work.”
“I’ve been able to focus on my character in a way that I never have before,” Rogers said. “I feel so refreshed and ready to perform again after not being able to for so long.”
Gonzalez said his favorite part about studying character work has been building his character’s backstory.
“It lets you create this life for your character and relate them to yourself,” Gonzalez said.
The plot of “It Shoulda Been You” features the wedding of a Catholic groom and a Jewish bride, while following several other characters with strong personalities.
According to Griffin Snow, a first-year who plays the father of the groom, the characters in the musical explore many important topics including body positivity, familial relationships and self-love.
“There are a lot of funny moments in the show, but there are also a lot of impactful moments,” Snow said. “I’m happy to see how the audience reacts to them.”
Snow encouraged as many students to attend the show as possible.
“It’s a fun time, and you’ll get a chance to see a show that focuses on some very important topics,” he said.
Gonzalez shared a similar sentiment. He said he feels that everyone can relate to one of the themes explored by “It Shoulda Been You.”
“This show is a lot about embracing the identities of ourselves that aren’t typically what we put on display,” he said. “Acceptance of yourself and knowing your worth, that’s a huge part of this show.”
Rogers said she thinks all who attend the musical are in for a hilarious story about acceptance, love, and family.
“Anyone who comes will surely be touched and entertained,” she said.
The musical opens on Thursday, March 31, at 7:30 p.m. at the Performing Arts Hall in the Drake Fine Arts Center. Tickets are $10 for adults and $8 for students.
They will perform again at 7:30 p.m. on April 1 and 2, and finish the show on April 3 with a 2 p.m. performance.