Written and directed by Juan Munoz ’18, “Almost Living” is a whimsical musical following a woman named Alma who, after running away from her wedding, passes away. The story doesn’t end there. Alma wakes up shortly after in a morgue as a member of a new class of humans—the “almost living.”
Four performances will be staged May 3-5 at 7:30 p.m., and May 6 at 2 p.m. in North Central College’s theatre at Meiley-Swallow Hall, 31 S. Ellsworth St. Tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for students and seniors. Call 630-637-SHOW (7469) or visit northcentralcollege.edu/performance.
“My approach to ‘Almost Living’ was to focus on the life and joy in the piece. Even after Alma takes her final breath, the story continues,” said Munoz. “In writing the show, I thought of what it meant to be outcast as ‘the other’ and found death to be our great equalizer.”
“Almost Living” highlights the aftermath of life, including what past relationships, addictions and institutionalism mean when you aren’t quite alive anymore.
When Alma meets up with a group of strangers, they explore what it means to be alive. In addition to figuring out who they are now as the “almost living,” they have to handle the emotional and political consequences of claiming their place in a world where others might not think you belong.
“It is my belief that humor and theatre allow us to find joy in our positions in the world and give us answers to the difficult questions raised by existing,” said Munoz.
The director would like the audience to know that the upbeat musical contains suggestive themes and language.
Alma: Ariana Burks ’21, Chicago, musical theatre major
U/S Alma: Michelle Ortiz ’21, Franklin Park, Ill., musical theatre and theatrical design and technology double major
Delora: Elena Mitchell ’21, Schaumburg, Ill., musical theatre and English double major
Hugh: Sam Lee ’21, Ankeny, Iowa, theatrical design and technology and theatre double major
Father Eloquent: Jake Parsons ’21, Lockport, Ill., musical theatre major
Officer Blender: Matt Lusa ’19, Orland Park, Ill., theatre and marketing major
Groundskeeper/Ensemble: Tait Martinez ’21, St. Joseph, Mich., organizational communication major
Val/Ensemble: Lauren Smith ’21, Mount Horeb, Wis., musical theatre major
Bebe/Ensemble: Alayna Laverty ’18, Glenview, Ill., musical theatre major
Newscaster/Ensemble: Leyla Foulkrod ’20, Monroe, Mich., musical theatre major
Kyra Norris ’21, Sun Prairie, Wis., musical theatre major
Rachel Mecca Davis ’20, Westmont, Ill., organizational communication major
Gillian Croasdale ’21, Middleton, Wis., musical theatre and small business and entrepreneurship double major
Norah Flaherty ’20, Oswego, Ill., theatre and organizational communication double major
Dance Captain: Kyra Norris ’21, Sun Prairie, Wis., musical theatre major
Vocal Coach: Alayna Laverty ’18, Glenview Ill., musical theatre major
Writer and Director: Juan Munoz ’18, Coal City, Ill., theatre major
Choreography: Miranda Keating ‘19, Sun Prairie, Wis., musical theatre major
Stage Manager: Nicholas Horky ’21, Sun Prairie, Wis., broadcast communication and theatrical design and technology double major
Scenic Designer: Samuel Lee ’21, Ankeny, Iowa, musical theatre major
Technical Director: Peter O'Neill, theatre department
Props Designer: Anica Schubert ’21, Beaverton, Ore., musical theatre major
Props Master: Lauren Spitler ’20, Naperville, theatrical design major
Light Designer: Angela Kvitek ’21, Batavia, Ill., theatrical design major
Costume Designer: Shelby Slager ’20, Elgin, Ill., theatre major
Hair/Makeup Designer: Katie Tumavich ’19, Glen Ellyn, Ill., theatrical design and technology major
Publicity: Kira Savegnago ’20, Wheaton, Ill., musical theatre major
Deck Chief: Melanie Garcia ’21, Aurora, Ill., biochemistry major
Run Crew: Haley Shadden ’21, Frankfort, Ill., theatre major
Light Board Op/Programmer: Elyssa Cornejo ’21, Loves Park, Ill., health science major
Lighting Crew: Abe Lyall ’19, Chicago, a broadcast communication major
Sound Board Operator: Paige Miller ’21, Elkhart, Ind., theatrical design major
Hair/Make-up Crew Head: Reagan Scherpe ’21, Galesburg, Ill., musical education: instrumental major
Hair/Make-up Crew: Samantha Kinder ’18, Chicago Heights, Ill., speech communication major
Production Photographer: McLean Holmes ’18, Shorewood, Ill., computer science major
Dramaturg: David Peterson, visiting assistant professor of theatre
Student Directed Series Advisor: Laura Lodewyck, assistant professor of theatre
North Central College offers majors in theatre, musical theatre, theatrical design and technology, and a minor in dance. Students of all majors can participate in musical and nonmusical performances, actor showcases and one-act plays and performances in the College’s four theatre venues. Full-time professors and active professionals who are artist-teachers serve as faculty.
These upcoming events are among many ongoing programs at North Central College to enrich and broaden the cultural and academic outlook for the College and community. North Central offers a variety of venues accommodating a rich range of local and world-class events, performances and space needs for the public. For a comprehensive schedule of musical performances, theatrical and dance productions, art exhibits and lectures, visit northcentralcollege.edu/performance or call the box office at 630-637-SHOW (7469).