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The award-winning news site of Cosumnes River College

The Connection

The award-winning news site of Cosumnes River College

The Connection

‘Assassins’ musical offers comedic take on presidential history

Irvis Orozco
The cast of “Assassins” rehearses two days before opening night. “Assassins” is playing from April 24-28 in the Black Box Theatre.

The Cosumnes River College Theatre and Dance Arts Department presented their opening night of the musical “Assassins” on Friday, originally composed by Stephen Sondheim and directed by Professor Ryan Perez Adame.

“Assassins” is a dark comedic musical following presidential assassins, or those who have attempted to assassinate U.S. presidents and politicians.

“It’s really a story about disillusionment with the American dream,” Adame said.

Sondheim is Adame’s favorite lyricist and composer in musical theatre and this is his first time directing a Sondheim musical, Adame said, whose background is musical theatre.

Adame said a main aspect of being not only a director, but also a teacher at CRC, is to make the cast and crew understand how a musical works from the creation of characters, design, stage pictures and themes within the play.

“It’s a big responsibility because for some of our actors, it’s their first musical for many of them. They’ve only done one or two shows. The whole experience is new for them,” Adame said.

Jared Shih, an 18-year-old nursing and theatre arts major, said he normally sticks to the technical side of theatre, but for “Assassins,” he decided to be on stage and act.

“This is my second time acting, so it’s been a challenge just to get into the mindset of a cast member instead of a technical member,” Shih said.

Shih said he researched his characters to get a better understanding of his roles as President William McKinley’s assistant and Sirhan Sirhan who was convicted of assassinating Sen. Robert F. Kennedy.

By contrast, Brian McHale, a 19-year-old visual and performing arts major, said he’s been doing theatre since he was a little boy.

“I’ve enjoyed the community,” McHale said. “I’ve enjoyed the people that I get to talk to. I enjoy the fact that I get to be on stage and all these cool different kinds of stages.”

McHale said his favorite part of putting “Assassins” together was the costumes he got to wear, such as an 1800s costume and a presidential fat suit. He said the challenging part was memorizing the music, melodies and rhythms.

“One of the big things that all of us on the faculty do is try to make sure that they have a challenging, but a positive experience,” Adame said.

Adame said his favorite part was talking to the students and staff about themes in the musical.

“I think seeing them engage with the world, engage with the play, it gives me a lot of hope because it’s this kind of cynical time we’re in,” Adame said. “It’s a stressful, cynical time, but it gives me hope to hear how they talked about it, how they differentiate and hear their ideas and their artistry.”

“Assassins” is running in the Black Box Theatre from April 24-28. Get tickets here.

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About the Contributors
Valencia Luviano
Valencia Luviano, News Editor
Valencia Luviano is the News Editor for The Connection. She is 19-years-old and is majoring in journalism. She joined The Connection to gain opportunities and get experience in the field. She also wanted to be part of a passionate team. Her goals are to transfer to Sacramento State and join the paper there as well. Outside of The Connection, she loves to go to cafes, drink coffee and browse bookstores. She loves to do picnics with her friends and explore new areas. She also loves to write and hopes to be a published author one day, of her own fictional novel.
Irvis Orozco
Irvis Orozco, Staff Writer
Irvis Orozco is a Staff Writer for The Connection.

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