Tapping for tuition

Jan 19, 2018



Raleigh Van Natta, Mayzie Potton and Timmy Opheim rehearse for Triumvirate Theatre's production of 'Singing in the Rain', opening Friday night at 7.
Credit Shaylon Cochran/KDLL

The latest show to hit the stage at Triumvirate Theatre, ‘Singing in the Rain’, isn’t just for entertainment. It’s the latest production for Triumvirate’s Class Act program.



Filled with classic musical numbers and memorable scenes, the players in this production have been practicing since before the holidays. Director Hannah Tauriainen says in doing popular musicals like this, that have been made into movies and spun off hit songs, the goal is to get the actors to make the roles their own.

“Instead of trying to be Debbie Reynolds or the big name actors we love from that era, we have to tell them, you can’t try to be that. Be you and let the part be yours because that’s what’s going to make this really special.”

And that’s the kind of craft young actors will continue to develop in Triumvirate’s Class Act program. This latest production is a fundraiser, to provide scholarship money for the students in Class Act.

“Class Act is something that we’ve had for awhile. I was in it when I was in high school. The way it works is, when you’re in middle school, you send us an application and I have to check all your references to make sure you’re a good fit for the program. And then the kids come in and audition for the current troupe members and they decide who gets in. There’s only 20 spots available. Then once they’re in the troupe, we do two or three shows every year with these kids and all of the money that’s made in those shows goes into scholarship funds that we divvy out to the kids once they graduate high school.”

And of course, this being a show featuring tap dancing, there’s an added degree of difficulty. Tauriainen gives a lot of credit to her co-director, Jayton Rizzo, who helped choreograph the show.

“The kids have been doing such a great job. They were stressed out about it initially, especially since some of them have never tapped before. So Jayton and the other kids who have been in tap classes are teaching each other and going over the numbers and getting so stressed out because the people that were in the ‘Singing in the Rain’ movie were such talented tappers. I think they’ve done a great job. ‘Good Morning’ was actually choreographed by the high school kids in the troupe.”

'Singing in the Rain' plays at 7 p.m. January 19th, 20th, 25th and 26th.