Theatre UCF's opening of "Titanic: The Musical," to kick off fifth annual UCF Celebrates the Arts showcase MA

Theatre UCF students practice for the upcoming performance of "Titanic: The Musical," premiering on April 5. "The voices in the show, the set and the story of 'Titanic' holds so much power,” Joshua Kimball, freshman theatre major on the acting track said. “No one should miss out on this production.”

Theatre UCF’s performance of Yetson and Stone’s Tony Award-winning musical, “Titanic,” will be opening on April 5 with a run through on April 6 at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts' Walt Disney Theatre.

“Titanic: The Musical” will kick off the fifth annual UCF Celebrates the Arts showcase of the university's artists and performers from April 5 to April 14. All performances and exhibits are free or low cost for the community, according to the UCF Celebrates the Arts website. 

Tickets for "Titanic: The Musical" are available for purchase and currently run from $5 to $50.

The musical tells the story of real passengers from first to third class aboard the so-called unsinkable ship that set sale in 1912 on a journey of tragedy, filled with “heartfelt lyrics and soaring melodies,” according to the College of Arts and Humanities' event page.

“The 'unsinkable' titan of a ship is the future and embodies the pride and potential of a new world full of technical marvels and unlimited potential,” said Michael Wainstein, director of the musical.

The musical is one of the university’s largest collaborations between Theatre UCF and the UCF Symphony Orchestra, with an 85-piece orchestra, 150 cast and crew members and 300-plus costumes, Wainstein said.

“Working with the large ensembles with big scenes that involve 50-plus people can have its own frustrations, but it helped our cast really work and come together to create the best product,” said Joshua Kimball, freshman theatre major on the acting track.

Ethan Rich, sophomore theatre major on the musical theatre track, described the show as “inherently epic, while simultaneously intimate and beautiful.”

“[Lyricist] Maury Yeston created an ambiance that every composer strives to achieve, giving the entire audience aesthetic chills,” Rich said.

Rich plays Frederick Barrett, the lead stoker aboard the "Titanic" who intends to marry a woman in England and is suspicious of the orders to dangerously increase rowing speed aboard the ship.

“Barrett is a textbook romantic and heroic in nature,” Rich said.

Kimball plays Mr. Andrews — the designer of the boat and a notorious dreamer.

"[Mr. Andrews] designed 'Titanic,' and he thought it was one of the great wonders of the world,” Kimball said.

Rich said the musical's cast and crew rehearse for the show typically four nights a week and once on the weekend for around three to four hours at a time.

“Theatre UCF has become a family,” Rich said. “There’s nothing better than doing what you love with like-minded friends.”

Claire Fogle, stage manager for the play, said the key to managing a show like “Titanic: The Musical” is communication. Fogle said her job includes making sure everyone involved in the process has the correct information about things such as props, stage pieces, sound and costumes.

“While many of our cast members play one specific character, our ensemble members run from scene to scene portraying many different passengers on the 'Titanic,'” Fogle said. “All of our actors have at least two costumes, and about half of them have over four costumes.”

Rich said he hopes the show's audience can get a historical insight into the play as well as an immersion into the horror of the ship's sinking.

“I hope that we can treat these peoples' stories with enough respect that the audience can use it as a mirror into their own lives and the fragility of it,” Rich said.

Kimball described the production of “Titanic: The Musical” as a huge spectacle, saying he is excited to see how audience members respond to Theatre UCF's rendition of the popular Broadway musical.

"The voices in the show, the set and the story of 'Titanic' holds so much power,” Kimball said. “No one should miss out on this production.”

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