After a total of seven shows over the span of a week, the final student performance of “Guys and Dolls” came to an end at 2:00 pm on Sunday, April 14. As the audience made their way out and the doors to the Gilmore Complex closed, emotions ran high amongst the cast and crew as they spoke about their time in the show.
“This has always been a dream role of mine since I was a kid,” said MerryRose Howley, who portrayed the character Adelaide. “For me, it was a relief that I got to do this show at the end of a typical stressful ‘day in the life of a college student.’”
For some members of the cast, the show was an emotional journey for them as they learned more about their characters in order to more effectively portray them.
“My journey to discovering my character has been so much fun, and I think that’s one of the best parts about being an actor,” said senior Logan Dolence, who played Sky Masterson. “Really figuring out what motivates Sky, how he would move and react in different situations, and really digging into his personality was an exciting process for me.
While Dolence showed a degree of elation for the conclusion of the show, he also expressed a sadness for it being over after months of preparation.
“After dedicating so much time to this show and character, it will be hard to put it away and move forward,” Dolence said. “But, as actors, that is also a part of our jobs. And that just means we get to move forward and devote ourselves to another exciting project.”
Howley shared Dolence’s sentiment towards the end of the show.
“I will definitely be sad to see the show go after this weekend,” Howley said. “I felt so lucky to get to share the stage with such wonderful performers every night.”
The performers took a moment to briefly talk about their plans for involvement in future stage productions. Dolence will be taking a break from acting in the Fall Semester in order to serve as the choreographer and assistant director for “Urinetown: The Musical.”
“I am thrilled to have this opportunity,” Dolence said. “Choreography is something I have grown to love, and I think it is a great project to end my time at Western before I graduate in December.”
Howley, meanwhile, will be auditioning for any acting role that she can find in the coming months out of a sheer love for the art.
“I love being busy as an actress,” Howley said. “Once ‘Guys and Dolls’ closes, I will be on the search for a production to take its place.”
This final performance of “Guys and Dolls” was an emotional one, but the cast and crew displayed a dedication to their craft that reflects positively upon WMU’s College of Fine Arts and leaves much to look forward to in the coming theatre season.