FRT opens: Full Monty set to bare it all

SET+STAGE%E2%80%94The+Forest+Roberts+Theater+awaits+its+next+attraction%2C+the+theater+program%E2%80%99s+production+of+%E2%80%9CThe+Full+Monty%E2%80%9D+which+will+open+on+Oct.+11.

SET STAGE—The Forest Roberts Theater awaits its next attraction, the theater program’s production of “The Full Monty” which will open on Oct. 11.

Adan Mulvaney

NMU’s Forest Roberts Theater (FRT) will kick off its opening production on Oct. 11. with  a stripping themed play.

“The Full Monty” follows the lives of six men, steelworkers who have lost their jobs and who are going through a difficult time. They are transformed by their choices in response to this hardship when they start their own male exotic dancer troupe.

“This is a story about six men in search of their courage, their identity, their sense of self-worth, their self respect, their independence, their youth, their vitality; and they find those things by putting themselves in a situation that ultimately is truly challenging to not only the characters but the actors as well,” the play’s Director Keli Crawford-Truckey explained.

Crawford-Truckey has been involved with the fine arts at NMU since 2002.

The play was cast within the first few days of the semester, and intense rehearsals began immediately afterward. The rehearsals are three hours per day, even on the weekends, and the entire production has been planned and executed within six weeks. The production also has a student music director, as the original music director resigned.

“[We’ve put in] way more hours than will ever see back in our lifetimes. Farmer hours. Every night from 7 to 10 p.m., but lately it’s been 7 to 11 p.m., virtually every night. We haven’t had a night off in two weeks,” Crawford-Truckey said.

The show is particularly fun, Crawford-Trucky said, because of the music and the many interesting moments within the plot. The cast is hoping that their hard work will pay off and attract a large student and faculty audience.

“We’ve put a lot of work into trying to bring a production value into the theater that will be stimulating,” Crawford-Truckey said. “But also, it’s a thought-provoking show. I think especially for young men who are about to venture out to into finding their own manhood in the real- world workforce. I think that it can speak to a lot of people.”

With the amount of time and work that has been put in by the production’s cast and crew, those invested in the play are excited to unveil it to the community, Mackall said.

“We’ve been putting in a lot of work for the short amount of time we’ve had,” sophomore secondary music education major Eric Mackall said. 

Mackall will be playing Ethan Girard, who is one of the six male strippers in the musical. Mackall has found that the role has stretched his abilities and comfort zone throughout the process of bringing the production together. 

Emily Kendall, a junior criminal justice and technical theatre major, agrees with Mackall. 

“Once we go into show mode, it completely takes over our lives,” Kendall said.

Along with attending every rehearsal, Kendall also works in the set shop and has been involved with the theater program for three years.

“I’d say it’s very brave with the characters are doing–and the actors are doing. It’s almost not acting anymore because the actors are actually being vulnerable on stage as well. It goes to a whole other level,” Mackall said.

Given the vulnerability of the characters and actors, the cast and crew say that coming to see the incredible effort put in by the students is a worthwhile endeavor.

“Not only will they support the fine arts department and the other different departments here, it’s also a very interesting story. It goes through a wide array of motions, relationship struggles, and personal growth,” Mackall said.

The production will take place at 7:30 p.m. from Oct. 11 to 19. Tickets are $5 for NMU students, $10 for other students and $17 for the general public.