Arts & Entertainment

The musical ‘Rock of Ages’ is almost underway

UWT’s first musical collaboration with Tacoma Little Theatre.

Photo by UWT Arts Department | A flyer advertising the musical “Rock of Ages.”

“Rock of Ages” is the first official musical that UWT will present, so what is it about and when will it happen?

First off, musicals are a type of theatrical performance that incorporates music, and typically dance, to tell a story. 

Dr. Weingarden is an instructor at the School of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences, and is organizing this event. 

She explains  “Rock of Ages” as a “jukebox musical,” in which they will use existing songs to tell a story. In this specific musical production, the music will primarily be from the ‘80s. 

“Rock of Ages” is not the first musical that went into production at UWT. Right before COVID, the UWT Theatre was also preparing for their musical, “Next to Normal.” 

Dr. Weingarden said it was a “chamber musical” – which she explains to “not have a lot of choreography, and it is much more about telling the story.”

“Next to Normal” was supposed to be held on campus but now two years later, they have increased their ambitions with  “Rock of Ages,” and will be collaborating with Tacoma Little Theatre.

The UWT Theatre will be holding auditions for the musical from December 4 to December 7, all with different time slots. More information will be available on the UWT Theatre Facebook page regarding the times auditions will be held. Anyone from any department of education can participate and you can actually earn credits by doing so. Not only will being a performer earn you credits, but helping with backstage production can as well. If you plan on only participating backstage, you will have to be present during specific rehearsals, which will be held in CP 007 beginning on January 3, when students come back from winter break. This also means that you must be present on not just some, but all showtimes.

Photo by Tacoma Little Theatre | Multiple plays are put on in Tacoma Little Theatre yearly.

You also do not need any experience whatsoever to try out, both onstage and off-stage. It is as Dr. Weingarden explains, “The only way to get the experience is to do it.” 

Even if you might not end up with a big role, seeing your contribution to the bigger project will give you more than just an experience, but joy as well.

Once production and rehearsals are all done, the musical “Rock of Ages” will hold their performances at  Tacoma Little Theatre from March 3 until March 23.

If you are thinking of trying out for either onstage performance or backstage help, here are some words of encouragement from Dr. Weingarden, “It is hard work. It is work I think is very enjoyable, and the reward is immense.”