University Theater Department Performs How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying

University of New Haven’s production of “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying” kept Bucknall Theatre bustling from April 19 through 22. Audience members came anticipating a light-hearted, comic evening, and received just that.

The play, directed by Theater Coordinator Dr. Steve Luber is a satire centered around J. Pierpont Finch (portrayed by University student Michael Kennedy), an eager and witty young man who reads a book written in detailed steps explaining how to work your way to the top in big business. With the help of the book and a few friends along the way, including an equally witty Rosemary Pilkington (portrayed by Kiera Terrell), Finch’s charm, luck and ambition lead him to success.

The show may have appeared to seamlessly come together through the dedication of over 82 members of the University of New Haven community, however, there were many not-so-glamorous hours of hard work and struggle that went in to creating the ultimate final product. While the show was produced and choreographed by faculty member leadership, there were many opportunities for students to be challenged to lead their peers as well.

Erica Quaedvlieg, the production’s dance captain, expressed her gratitude for the experience. Quaedvlieg said she was fortunate enough to be able to influence the cast “in a way that they can learn and grow and be able to create something wonderful.”

“I learned how to take what others had to say, and even though they didn’t have official leadership roles, their voices and opinions still mattered. Being dance captain wouldn’t have been possible without the creative minds of the entire cast,” she said.

The collaborative nature of any theatrical production affected each member differently, and allowed each individual to grow.

Regarding the production dynamic, Jon Mitsiaris, a newcomer to the theater experience, had a lot to say about being a newer member.

“This experience was the most amazing thing I had ever had happen to me in all of my four years at UNH,” he said. “I couldn’t be happier to work with the people that I got to work with this year, and even better, I get to call them some of my closest friends. I’m graduating this year, and it’s a shame that I won’t be able to be a part of any more productions with the theater program, but I will always remember this experience throughout the rest of my life. The things I learned from the amazing talent that we have at this school helped me become a more well-rounded person and got me ready for when I get back up on stage and perform again for others. This experience was absolutely incredible and I’m so glad that I decided to work with everybody and put on a killer show that so much hard work was put into.”

Andy Esborn, a four year-veteran of the theater program, elaborated on the idea that theater is more than what the audience sees on stage.

“I think a lot of the time people take the performance on the surface. They don’t realize a lot of the work that goes on behind the scenes. They don’t think about the hours going into set design, building the set, the lighting design, the band rehearsing, the poster, getting the rights for the play. There’s so much that goes into producing a show, and it’s not all easily seen. Producing a show creates new skills in each person involved.”

Students of the University of New Haven Theater Program would like to thank the University for their support, as well as the theater program faculty for their countless hours of work and dedication to the production’s overall success.