Bonnie & Clyde set to steal the show at the Toledo Repertoire Theatre

By Jacob Clary and By Jacob Clary

“Bonnie & Clyde” is the first show of the Toledo Repertoire Theatre’s 85th season, and show director Macaela Whitaker is ready for the challenge. 

Whitaker, a University professor who holds a doctorate in theater and film, said the show she is directing will be different from other shows people may have seen. 

“I think’s it’s not your typical musical,”she said. “There’s not a lot of dancing. There’s something for everyone in the musical. … We have jazz, ragtime, gospel, rock-a-billy, rock, pop, ballads and country ballads. So it kind of spans the gambit rather than focusing on their exploits. It focuses on the romance of the relationship and how that influenced their choices.” 

[[inline_image_identifier 18f25ca300f455c28295adc7b682641e.jpg]]

She also explained putting “Bonnie & Clyde” together was a bit different from how a show at the University would be set up. 

She said, “If it was in a university setting, I would have had maybe a six week rehearsal period. Because it is a community theater, I have to consider the factors that these are people who aren’t full-time students, aren’t necessarily trained actors … So we had a longer rehearsal process. We started mid-July, and they only had four days a week of rehearsals rather than the usual four or six.” 

The actor playing the role of Bonnie also studies at the University. 

Erica Harmon, a sophomore musical theater, acting and directing major, will play the female lead. Harmon said she found out about the auditions for “Bonnie & Clyde” on the theater’s Facebook page, adding that it was one of her favorite shows. 

In regard to trying out for the part, she said, “You have to prepare for your audition. You need to pick an audition piece that shows you off, fits the era of the show and can represent you as the character you are interested in being cast for … You should know your character and be able to clarify your intentions and know why she acts the way she does. It helps to be open minded and ready for a challenge or change. It can be a lot of work, but overall you want to represent the character to the best of your ability.”

Junior musical theater, acting and directing major Laura Hohman knows it is important to get involved in plays and shows. 

“I know in this department, they heavily support getting involved,” she said. “It shows your face, it shows the faculty here that you’re involved. I think community theater is another great way to start building a reputation in the surrounding area, so you have a network at home, outside and in the real world. I think getting involved is very important for your growth as an actor and as a person.”

Getting involved in theater programs is the first step toward showing audiences and other actors you belong. It could also start with attending plays and becoming familiar with them. 

The first showing of “Bonnie & Clyde” is Friday, Sept. 8 at 8 p.m. in the Toledo Repertoire Theatre.