WMU News

Orientation cabaret show travels to Toronto

Oct. 25, 2001

KALAMAZOO -- Western Michigan University is taking its highly rated 2001 Freshman Orientation Cabaret Show on the road to Toronto.

The National Orientation Directors Association has invited WMU to present the one-hour show to nearly 700 association members at its annual conference Nov. 5 in Toronto.

The "Cab Show," as it's informally called, has been providing entertainment to WMU Freshman Orientation participants since 1974. A parody of college life, it's written and performed by students and produced through a partnership between the University's Department of Theatre and Office of Admissions and Orientation.

"As far as we know, there are no other universities in the country who have a long-standing theatrical production incorporated as part of their first-year student orientation programs," says Christopher W. Tremblay, coordinator of orientation at WMU.

The 2001 production depicts six WMU students embarking on the journey of a lifetime-college. During their performance, they make decisions and face their anxieties and fears as they encounter strange new people and situations.

The show is based on this past summer's Freshman Orientation theme of "Making Your Screen Debut at WMU" and incorporates numerous movie references, from "The Godfather" to "Austin Powers" to "The Sound of Music." Also included are several pieces of music with cleverly rewritten lyrics.

The original 2001 cast included Alex Goodman, a junior from Dearborn, Mich., majoring in theatre performance; Erich Sommerfeldt, a sophomore from Grand Haven, Mich., majoring in music theatre performance; Billy Bradley, a senior from Beverly Hills, Mich., majoring in theatre performance; Katie Foland, a senior from Vernon, Mich., majoring in theatre performance; Allen VanHouzen, a sophomore from Flushing, Mich., majoring in theatre performance; and Le-Anne Garland, a senior from Commerce Township, Mich., majoring in theatre performance.

Bradley and Foland will be unable to attend the special performance in Toronto, due to their rehearsal schedules for an upcoming University theatre production. Their roles will be portrayed by Michael Duhame, a junior from Ishpeming, Mich., majoring in theatre education, and Autumn Shiley, a sophomore from Kalamazoo majoring in theatre performance.

"Year after year, the Cab Show is the highest rated part of Freshman Orientation," says Dr. D. Terry Williams, chairperson of WMU's Department of Theatre. "This attests to the quality of the student performers."

For more information about the show, contact Chris Tremblay at (616) 387-2168 or <chris.tremblay@wmich.edu>.

Media contact: Jeanne Baron, 616 387-8400, jeanne.baron@wmich.edu

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