Butler Music and Theatre departments produce their spin on the musical Pajama Game

Tatum Wykes

Online Editor

Pajama Game Show Casing

Butlers’ music and theatre department will open their musical Pajama Game Nov. 18 at 7:30 p.m. They will also have a showing on Nov. 19 at 7:30 p.m. and Nov. 20 at 2:00 and 7:30 p.m. Pajama Game is a musical theatre production with music and lyrics by Richard Adler and Jerry Ross and a book by George Abbott and Richard Bissell. It is based on the novel “7 ½ cents” by Richard Bissell.   

The Butler theatre’s musical is made up of a twenty-person orchestra with both faculty and student musicians, and nearly 100 students working both on and off stage to make this production a success. This production will be directed by Professor Samuel Sparks, choreographed by Professor Valerie Mack, and music directed by Professor Matthew Udland.  

“We have a really great musical team,” freshman Headliner Chloe Welsh said. “The directors, orchestra, stage manager, set/tech crew are all great. I’m really glad the theatre department and choir have gotten to collaborate on this project!” 

Pajama Game, the original production, was an award-winning production in 1955 and won the Tony Award for the Best Musical. Later, in 2006, the revival of Pajama Game won the Tony Award for Best Revival Musical. The Pajama Game is a romantic musical comedy about a labor dispute at a pajama factory in the 1950’s.  

There are instrumental faculty playing in the pit alongside Butler instrumentalists. The Butler Headliners are featured in a number in the second act and there is a special number with four featured dancers. The cast is made up of music and theatre scholars as well as students who are participating from across campus.  

“It is a great experience to work with so many talented artists and genuine collaborators,” Professor of Theatre, Samuel Sparks said. “I am truly thankful to have a great team working alongside me.”  

Auditions were held back in October for two consecutive days. There was a total of 40 students who auditioned. 

“Casting is like working on a jigsaw puzzle,” Sparks said. “Since this is a musical, we had to take into consideration not only an actor’s acting ability, but also their singing and dancing skills.” 

After almost two years of operating in a pandemic conscious way, the faculty team of Mack, Udland, Ingram and Sparks, really wanted to provide an opportunity for as many students as possible to participate in this musical. In total over 100 students and faculty will be able to have participated.  

“The preparation is one main difference for sure,” Welsh said. “Headliners is a class, whereas the musical is an extra commitment outside of any classes. Another main difference is that in theatre productions there are a lot of times where you’ll only be acting, but in Headliners you’re always singing and/or dancing too. Being in the musical has definitely helped expose weak spots in my acting skills!” 

You can purchase tickets from 1-5 p.m. at the Box Office in the Fine Arts Building, call 316.322.3262 or go online at www.butlercc.edu/boxoffice. Cost is $5 per person. Butler students, staff and faculty get in free with Butler ID. 

Photo by. Tatum Wykes

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