A Year with Frog and Toad, directed by alumnus Emily Hisey, kicked off its first performance November 7th. It’s a lighthearted story of two best friends, Frog, played by Trisha Landis, junior early-childhood education major; and Toad, played by Zach Hawbaker, junior social work major.
It is a fun, family-friendly production. It tells a story of Frog and Toad’s exciting adventures in their pond through the seasons.
The wonderfully animated actors will certainly make the viewer forget worries of classes with their lighthearted humor along with the musical’s theme of valuable friendship.
All the actors put on a phenomenal performance – refreshing, lively, and well done. They make the audience laugh with one-liners that kids and adults alike will enjoy.
Sophomore educational ministry student, Elizabeth Crowell, gave positive feedback on the performance, saying that she really enjoyed it and had a lot of fun. Crowell also mentioned that there was nothing that could have been improved to make for a better show and said it was one of the best performances she has seen at Malone so far.
Along with the musical itself, the behind-the-scenes elements including lights, sound and costumes, all work very well to pull together a tight production.
There is even a live orchestra to accompany the upbeat dancing and singing. To pull the performance all together, the set, including Frog and Toad’s houses in the pond, are very creative.
Tammie McKenzie, Director of Theatre and Artistic Director, is pleased with the progress made in the theatre department in her past 20 years here.
“The facilities have changed dramatically and the curriculum has grown. Our goal is to prepare undergrads so they have the skills to work [in theater].”
Over the years, the theatre department has added some classes to its curriculum, including a class on auditioning and on how to be a Christian in the arts.
“Something that is unique to Malone is that theater is open across campus. That’s one of the benefits of a liberal arts college – that you don’t have to major in the arts to be in a play,” McKenzie said.
Scenic Designer and Technical Director, Jim Brothers, was hopeful about the production. He said it’s all up to the actors to make the show what it is.
“The most fun part of my job is seeing something light up in the students. I’ve been doing this for a long time, so when the next generation gets it, I love it.”
It is evident that hard work was put into this production by both the cast and crew. An excerpt from the program gives their motto “Play to the King,” keeping in mind that when their “performance is centered on our King Jesus, our best shines forth.”
The production opened November 7th and will continue running November 14th – 17th.