Abbey Players Open Family Weekend With "A Hawk's Life"

Lights, camera, action! It is that time of year for the annual Family Weekend Show, “A Hawk’s Life.” This weekend, the Anselmian Abbey Players will perform this student-run show about life at Saint Anselm.

"A Hawk's Life" Family Weekend Show 2015The Family Weekend show, featuring 43 students, is a sequence of nine vignettes about the experiences of college life. “A Hawk’s Life” follows the year of a freshman as he experiences events such as orientation, roommate conflicts, the gingerbread competition, finals, senior graduation, and leaving for the summer.

Photo Gallery: "A Hawk's Life"

Students auditioned during the second week of September and have been practicing four days a week, three hours a day since. However, without the leadership and guidance of the show’s creative team, this would not have been possible. The creative team includes Kaity Beaumont ’16 (writer; director), Ginger Gates ’17 (music director) Marialena Bazzano ’16 (choreographer), Katie Corbett ’16 (producer, choreographer), and Morgan Turnbull ’17 (producer).

The writing of “A Hawk’s Life” began back in the spring semester of last year. Kaity Beaumont created the plot and major events for the show around re-written Saint A’s oriented song lyrics. She chose a creative team for running the show and presented her script to the Abbey Players, having it selected at the end of April.

The show includes traditional Broadway, Disney, pop, and rock songs. Beaumont tried to select songs and events that are relative to a wide audience in order to connect with both students and parents.

“I chose to incorporate things that everyone goes through in college, and also things specific to Saint A’s. I wanted to include snippet of life here to show how unique and special our school is and paint an accurate picture of college life,” says Beaumont.

One of the scenes included is the annual gingerbread competition, featuring an all boys musical number. The sequence shows the boys arguing over what to make for the competition through the popular Backstreet Boys’ song “I Want it that Way.”

Over the summer, Beaumont sent multiple drafts of the script to her team and the process has been ongoing. Ginger Gates reviewed the songs chosen for the show and began recruitment for the student pit band. Meanwhile, Marialena Bazzano and Katie Corbett began the choreography; each creating four dances independently while collaborating on the opening number.

“[I] had to keep in mind that everyone’s dancing levels were different, as they varied from experienced to beginner,” said Corbett.

“But I believe that the choreography for the show is able to showcase everyone and their talents, as well as be simple enough that everyone, regardless of their dancing skills, would be able to enjoy.”

Besides co-choreographing the show, Corbett, along with Morgan Turnbull, serves as co-producers for the production. Both of them are in charge of communicating with the cast when it comes to detailing out weekly rehearsal schedules as well as keeping track of the progress of the show. Furthermore, as stage managers, they make sure the scenes will run smoothly.

Although putting on the show takes a lot of time and effort, it is worth the hard work. Beaumont expressed, “The experience has been so wonderful! It has been a lot to juggle, but every second has been worth it. It is surreal to see something that you created come to fruition.”

Corbett adds, “I have enjoyed watching the show itself grow into an amazing production.”

The Abbey Players will perform two productions of “A Hawk’s Life”: Oct. 23 at 8 p.m. and Oct. 24 at 2 p.m. in the Dana Center. Tickets are $8.