Preparing a virtual musical while hundreds of miles away from your cast mates can be daunting task. And for the students in Ithaca College’s Department of Theatre Arts who were creating a performance of the musical “Moments: An Evening of Work by Douglas Lyons,” that task was even more challenging due to the themes of racial and sexual identity covered in the songs.
But the performers had one advantage: because of the virtual nature of the performance, Lyons was able to sit in on the rehearsal process and offer notes and insight to the students.
“It’s tricky to do a musical online,” said Christopher Zemliauskas, assistant professor of musical performance, who served as the music director for the show. “It was a challenge for everybody, but … we have such talented singers, it ended up being a real pleasure for me.”
Lyons is an actor and composer who celebrates diversity and equality in his work. “Moments” is a song cycle featuring selections from several of his other projects and stand-alone songs, connected by a theme of individuality and personal acceptance.