“Merrily We Roll Along” represents Marywood’s return to full-fledged musical productions


Photo credit/ Carter Cerretani

Dr Pyles overlooks rehearsal of “Merrily We Roll Along”.

Marking a triumphant return to theatre since before the pandemic, Marywood’s first full production musical is set to take the stage this weekend.

For the spring semester, the Marywood Department of Music, Theatre and Dance has chosen “Merrily We Roll Along”, for their first traditional musical since 2018.

“Merrily” is the story of three friends: Frank, Charlie, and Mary, and tells the story of their lives backwards. The first scene of the play is chronologically the last scene, in which the three are no longer friends. From there, we go backwards one scene at a time until we see where the characters all started.

Through this method, we see more directly how the choices the characters make changed the outcome of their lives by seeing the outcomes first. Dr. Timothy Pyles, M.F.A, Ph.D., director of Marywood’s production of “Merrily”, says that it’s a story that young people in general can relate to.

“It’s a show that, I think, is great for college students because fundamentally, it’s a show about being careful about the choices you make in life, especially when you’re just starting out, when you’re young,” said Pyles. “You think that you have all the time in the world, all the options in the world. The truth is that before you know it, a lot of that time is gone, and you need to be really mindful about the choices you make and think about them.”

“Merrily” will also have a full band orchestra, something that hasn’t been done in quite some time due to the pandemic.

Both the department and those involved in the production have taken extra precautions to ensure a full production can go off without a hitch. Everyone involved has been vaccinated and are being as safe as they can manage to avoid any risks. While the performers will not be wearing masks on stage, they are required to wear them when off stage or in the wings on the side of the stage.

Junior music therapy major Mary West serves as the assistant stage manager and choreographer for “Merrily”. She says she is very excited to return to a normal production process.

“It’s nice to work with so many bodies all at once. It’s different from what I’ve been able to do for the last two years, and we, as a group, have been able to do, because we’ve been doing such small productions,” said West.

“Merrily” is able to be more traditional because of new Marywood COVID regulations that allows the theatre department to put on a musical with a large cast and include a pit orchestra.

“Merrily We Roll Along” will be performing this weekend on Friday, February 18 at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, February 19 at 2:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, February 20 at 2:00 p.m.. Admission will be free to general audiences.

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