Students will take to stage this weekend for the university’s 60th Sing Song, On The Town. Clubs and classes have created a dazzling array of upstage acts connected to the overall theme, with everything from taxi cab drivers to Hobbits to dads. The hosts and hostesses delight the crowd with their dynamic variety of town-related songs.
The 60th production of Sing Song is a significant anniversary for the campus tradition, and Tom Craig, director of Sing Song and student productions, said this year’s show fits the occasion.
“When you have a decade anniversary like the 60th show, it is something that we want to recognize because we have tradition that has been around for so many years,” Craig said. “Our approach to the 60th show has been to make it as big and as dramatic as we possibly can. Our efforts have been poured into making the best Sing Song we know how to create.”
Since last fall, groups have been brainstorming to create spectacular three-and-a-half minute performances to wow the audience and, more importantly, the judges.
“Upstage acts have been very creative in their theme selection and have done a really good job tying it to the overall theme,” Craig said.
Jenny Dennis, director of Sigma Theta Chi’s Dr. Seuss-themed act, “The Who Girl in Town,” said she feels like the club’s idea fits well with the overall theme of On The Town.
“Once we started figuring our Dr. Seuss idea out, we knew we wanted to be Whoville so that we were actually a town,” said Dennis, senior psychology major from Garland. “So it was kind of a bonus that our theme went so well with the overall one. Some of our other ideas we talked about would’ve been kind of a stretch, but with Whoville it was perfect.”
This year, groups have been given more access to resources to enhance overall performance. Consultants were brought in, and directors of past winning Sing Song acts made the rounds across campus to help acts maximize their talent and creativity. Whether that meant rethinking costume design or perfecting choreogrpahy, access to these resources have created an extremely competitive upstage environment, with most acts tapping into winning potential.
“I think what we will see on stage will be some of the best upstage acts we’ve ever seen,” Craig said. “I can honestly say this year it is anybody’s game. There’s no clear standout at this point, so that makes for a really great show.”
Craig and his professional team always have three or four potential themes developing for upcoming years. Craig said there are a few elements to a good overall theme: it has to work for both upstage and downstage.
“When picking a theme, we look for themes that allow the upstage acts to have enough flexibility and creativity for it to work,” Craig said. “We want something that translates well upstage and has a lot of songs that work for downstage.”
Each January, the following year’s theme is chosen so it can be announced in February at Sing Song, meaning there are a few weeks out of the year where Craig is working on two productions at once.
“We look at what is going on all around us at this moment in time and that is how we decide,” Craig said.
The theme for Sing Song 2017 will be announced during the shows this weekend.