UJ production of ‘On the Town’ features dancing, singing
► What: University of Jamestown Theatre’s production of “On the Town” ► When: 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday ► Where: Denault Auditorium, Reiland Fine Arts Center, on the UJ campus ► Tickets: $10 per person, available at the Reiland Box Office, Room 130, 3-6 p.m. Monday through Friday, or by calling 252-3467, ext. 5435.
Raena McIntyre is in her seventh year as the choreographer for the University of Jamestown Theatre’s productions. While past performances have included some singing and dancing, this week’s production of “On the Town” has proven to be a challenge for McIntyre.
The musical follows the adventures of three sailors, Chip, Ozzie and Gabey, as they explore New York City in the 1940s.
McIntyre said she grew up in dance, starting when she was 4 year old.
“I’m trained in jazz, tap, ballet and modern,” she said. “I enjoy modern a lot, but my heaviest training is in ballet.”
She first worked as a choreographer for UJ when she was a sophomore at the university pursuing a degree in psychology. Now she works for South Central Human Service Center in Jamestown, which allows her to offer her services to UJ Theatre.
“It (being a choreographer) is a lot of fun for me,” she said. “It’s a challenge every year, when we try a new style of dance, or have a new group of students with different (dancing) experience.”
Mike McIntyre, UJ’s director of theater, said he didn’t pick “On the Town” without talking with Raena McIntyre first. Raena is Mike’s daughter-in-law.
“I asked her if she would be interested, because I knew what a huge, dance-heavy musical it would be,” he said.
Raena McIntyre said Mike McIntyre asked her to listen to the musical first and to think about it before making any decision.
“Once I started listening to it, I wasn’t able to say no,” she said.
Raena McIntyre said the musical includes different styles of dance, from modern and jazz to ballet.
Mike McIntyre said one of many things Raena McIntyre does well as a choreographer is to make people with no dance experience look like they have been dancing all their lives.
He said she knows how to assess each performer’s ability to dance, then craft moves for that person that make him or her look good on the stage.
Raena McIntyre said the cast for the musical has done an excellent job learning the dance routines for the show in very short amount of time.
“We held auditions in early September and we set the bar high as to what we were expecting with the dancing in this show,” she said.
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We held auditions in early September and we set the bar high as to what we were expecting with the dancing in this show.
– RAENA MCINTYRE, choreographer, “On the Town”