by Madeleine Mosher
On Thursday, April 4 at 8 p.m., Cedarville actors will perform the university’s first musical in two years, titled “The Spitfire Grill.”
The play stars three women: Percy Talbott, a former prisoner, Hannah Ferguson, a widow, and Shelby, the wife of Hannah’s nephew. The story centers around the titular Spitfire Grill as the three women bond through owning and operating it.
In addition to these three characters, there are four more, making the cast total seven members.
Byron Mrowiec, a transfer sophomore mechanical engineering major from Chicago, plays one of these additional characters, the sheriff. For him, acting in “The Spitfire Grill” has been all about growing as an actor and as a person.
Though he’s been acting since he was a senior in high school, his experience with musicals has been with those of the broadway type, like “Annie,” “Guys and Dolls” and “Mary Poppins.” These musicals are flashy, with elaborate song and dance routines. “The Spitfire Grill” is different. According to Mrowiec it’s more about the plot than about the music.
“It’s more, just like, down to earth, real,” Mrowiec said, “There’s more grit to it, more heart. And it doesn’t entertain as much as it tells a story.”
This makes Mrowiec feel more vulnerable as a performer, especially since the show utilizes a black box setting, which seats the audience on the same level of the stage. This has forced him to acclimate to a new kind of peroming, especially since he has a leading role, instead of the ensemble parts he’s used to.
Mrowiec said that “The Spitfire Grill” portrays a theme of forgiveness in two ways. The first is accepting forgiveness from other, and the second is swallowing one’s pride to show other people that they have been forgiven.
Mrowiec said that this has been a reminder to him throughout rehearsals about the importance of forgiveness in his life. He hopes the audience will absorb this as they watch the show.
Mrowiec thinks that the audience also gets to know the characters in a musical differently than in a play. In a play, most of the audience’s knowledge about the character’s mind and emotions comes from dialogue. In a musical, the audience can also see into a character through the songs they sing.
Abigail Krakora, the assistant stage manager, said that the songs in this musical, rather than being set up in a “verse, chorus, verse, chorus” pattern, consist more of narrative. The characters are simply expressing themselves through song.
“You hear what they’re saying,” Mrowiec explained, “but you also feel what they’re saying through the melody.”
Though “Spitfire” is much different from a traditional style of musical, Mrowiec said he thinks it’s a more authentic experience for the audience.
“The Spitfire Grill” will debut at 8 p.m. on April 4 and will play through April 14. Tickets are on sale at the Information Desk at the Stevens Student Center or online at cedarville.edu/theatreproductions.
Madeleine Mosher is a sophomore journalism major and a Campus News Co-editor for Cedars. When she’s not complaining about homework or having a snack, she enjoys coffee, words, and rock ‘n’ roll.
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