North Central College - Naperville, IL

Students write, compose, direct musical "Tell Me Truly"

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Contact: Nancy Dunker, associate director of public relations, 630-637-5306

Jan. 22, 2010--North Central College students will present a four-performance run of "Tell Me Truly," an exciting, guitar-driven original musical written by senior Chad Comello and junior Taylor Martin. The play is presented by The Company, a student club with members who are passionate about theatre and want to explore new theatrical ideas.

"Tell Me Truly" will be staged at 7:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday, Feb. 11 and 12, and at 2 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 13, in North Central's Meiley-Swallow Hall, 31 S. Ellsworth St., Naperville. There is a suggested donation of $5/person at the door; proceeds will support The Company. This play contains strong language and adult themes and is not appropriate for children.

Under the direction of Comello, "Tell Me Truly" centers on Adam, a 20-something musician whose wide-eyed ambition drives him to tour America in search of his big break. The night before he leaves, Adam learns his girlfriend Kendra is pregnant with his child. Unable to face his fear of fatherhood, he takes off on tour. Along the way, he meets all kinds of people-bartenders, frat boys and even his ex-girlfriend-who entertain, enlighten and humble Adam in his journey of self-discovery.

The musical was conceived by Comello and Martin, who also plays the part of Adam, as a way to incorporate acoustic guitar-driven songs with modern theatre conventions. The writers wanted to upend the musical theatre tradition of using overly theatrical show tunes by integrating original songs into the show's plot, making the musical performances more realistic and the story more relatable.

"We knew there were a lot of North Central students who could act and sing really well, so we wanted to take advantage of that while also trying something new and different," Comello says. "Everyone kind of knows how a musical is supposed to work, so Taylor and I wanted to challenge people's thinking by making something we hadn't really seen before."

The cast members of "Tell Me Truly" perform the songs, also written by Comello and Martin, backed by minimal musical accompaniment. Comello commissioned artwork for the show from North Central students and will also use an original video in the show.

"Collaboration has been the key throughout this whole process," Comello says. "Taylor and I would bounce ideas off each other in the writing process so we would have the best result possible. Then once we brought in the actors, since we couldn't offer cash or class credit, it was pure enthusiasm for the making the show that made it happen."

The writers and cast of "Tell Me Truly" include:
Writer/director/composer: Chad Comello of Middleton, Wis., a senior majoring in English/print journalism
Adam/writer/composer: Taylor Martin of Madison, Wis., a junior majoring in music
Kendra: Angie Snodgrass of Byron, Ill., a junior majoring in musical theatre and psychology
Matt: Dave Musselman of Woodridge, a sophomore majoring in musical theatre
Cassie: Katie Liddy of Naperville, a freshman
Karl: Max DeTogne of Arlington Heights, a freshman majoring in speech communication
Debbie: Grace Heimerl of Naperville, a freshman majoring in musical theatre
Joseph: Curtis Stelter of Lemont, a junior majoring in musical theatre and technical theatre
Dan: Garrett Lutz of Aurora, a freshman majoring in musical theatre
Mikaela: Stephanie Rudakas of Valparaiso, Ind., a junior majoring in elementary education
Nick: Bryan Renaud of Sugar Grove, a freshman majoring in theatre
Seth: Tommy Rivera-Vega of Puerto Rico, a junior majoring in musical theatre
Dexter: Wesley Tucker of Mason City, Ill., a senior majoring in musical theatre
Stacy: Amanda Aguayo of Tinley Park, a freshman majoring in choral music education
Mike: Jonathan Berosek of Streator, a senior majoring in classical civilization and performance theatre

Photo caption: Taylor Martin as Adam and Angie Snodgrass as Kendra.

This performance is one of many ongoing programs hosted at North Central College to enrich and broaden the academic and cultural outlook for the College and community. For a comprehensive schedule of art exhibits, musical performances, lectures and theatrical productions, visit www.northcentralcollege.edu/show or call the box office at 630-637-SHOW (7469).

01-22-2010