The UBC Musical Theatre Troupe (MTT) is one of many performance-based clubs on campus, and they mean business.
They’re one of only two student-run UBC groups that put on full-scale productions (two per year, to be exact). Each production requires the help of more than 70 cast and crew members to run smoothly.
The spring production
The troupe, which has been around in various forms for 100 years, is currently preparing for their spring production. They’re taking on Heathers: The Musical, a 2010 adaptation of the late-’80s cult classic film.
“It’s much more challenging than any production MTT has ever done,” says troupe president Tiffany Lee.
“The content is definitely more challenging...the tendency in musical theatre is, you know, jazz hands, smiling. But I think doing a gritty show like this where the emotions are so raw, that’s a challenge for actors and that’s a challenge for all of us as storytellers.”
A role for everyone
MTT’s shows aren’t just for actors; they also need tech crew, hair and makeup artists, costume designers, musicians for the band, and regular crew members.
“We just need enthusiasm and willingness to dedicate yourself to whatever position you’re given!” says events director Hannah Dyck-Chan.
Hannah especially wants to underline the community aspect of being in MTT. While the troupe used to be able to offer a spot in their productions to anyone who showed up, the high level of interest this year forced them to make cuts. However, that doesn’t mean that they’re exclusive—far from it.
Hannah’s on a mission to run more open events, like musical movie viewings and “Musical Houses” (open mic nights devoted to show tunes), to make sure anyone and everyone feels like they can participate in their community.
Room to grow
Tiffany agrees with this philosophy. “It’s awesome because you have all of these people and everyone in MTT has different skills and different strengths. That’s one of the biggest goals for our group this year, expanding ourselves to not just be ’Okay! You’re an actor, here’s your club!”. It’s about, ‘You love musical theatre, let’s do this together’.”
“It’s easy to get overwhelmed at UBC,” she said, “There’s so much going on and it’s really easy to not feel like you belong anywhere because you’re a little too scared to take that step where you’re trying to join something.
“What MTT does a really good job at is bringing those people in. If we see you at an event, we’re taking you in, and we’re saying, ‘Hey, do you want to be part of this community? We’d love to have you.’”
Heathers: The Musical will be performed at the Norman Rothstein Theatre on March 31 and April 1. Check out the event page.