TOB’s ‘[Title of Show]’ Chooses Cast

by Nadia Smith

Transy on Broadway, the student-run drama production group at Transylvania, recently held auditions for a show The New York Times called a “scrappy little musical about trying to put on a scrappy little musical.”

“[title of show]” chronicles the ups and downs of main characters Hunter Bell and Jeff Bowen, writer and composer-lyricist respectively, along with two female friends, Heidi and Susan, as they try to write a successful show for the New York Musical Theatre Festival in three weeks.

Sophomore Cory Collins, director of the production, said that “[title of show]” was chosen because of its appeal for Transy audiences and its humor, and because it “would be fun to put on.”

“The small cast dynamic and minimal technical needs make this a good show for both our budget and people constraints,” said Collins.

Sophomore Hayley Smallwood auditioned Thursday for one of the two female roles in the musical. She is passionate about drama and said it takes up much of her time. She was interested in this musical because it’s “hilarious and perfect for people who love theater.”

“Both of the female roles are quirky and fun, and you can find something to relate to in both,” Smallwood said.

Smallwood described the audition process as relaxed and comfortable.

“Usually when you go into an audition things can be tense, competitive and very nerve-wracking,” she said, “but this was really fun.”

Collins, along with junior Robin Kunkel, sophomore Alex Yaden and senior Ashley Stafford, oversaw the casting.

“There are two key components to casting this musical,” said Collins. “One, obviously, is that they have to have musical talent. … We are looking heavily at the auditioners’ ability to sing, read music and emote what they are singing. Another aspect of this show that is of particular importance to me is the auditioners’ ability to act in a way that is specifically perfect for this show. ‘[title of show]’ calls for a cast that can create entertainment, laughs and beautiful moments out of the seemingly regular conversations that people have.”

“(We) were looking for individuals who could act and were comfortable on stage,” said Stafford, “but not for people who would go too over-the-top with their acting. … Cory really wanted everyone to be natural. We were also looking for people who were natural movers and who wouldn’t look awkward moving around stage.”

“This isn’t your typical ‘jazz hands, go big or go home’ kind of musical,” said Collins. “The key to nailing these parts is to create extremely real moments on stage, but also to create a very fun and wacky atmosphere.”

Stafford admitted it can be hard to work around each cast and production crew member’s schedule. However, with such a small cast and crew this year, scheduling should be simpler. Stafford also said that those who show up for auditions are usually willing to do what it takes to make time for the show.

“One way I’m approaching this is to make this a much different time commitment,” Collins said. “In most cases, a ‘Transy time commitment’ involves a lot of time, a lot of work and not much fun. While yes, creating a musical is a lot of work, I want to create an atmosphere where (cast and crew members) don’t feel as if they are coming to ‘another commitment.’ If anything, this should be a release, a place where positive energy can replace the stresses of this crazy campus.”

The final casting decisions for the show were made Monday night. Susan will be played by Smallwood, Heidi by first-year Hannah Johnson, Hunter by senior Matt Elmore and Jeff by senior Matt Bradley. Musical fans can eagerly look forward to Transy on Broadway’s production of “[title of show]” the first weekend in May, May 6-8. Until then, to learn more about the show you can check out the musical’s official website,


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