University News

Stageless Players to Present "Hello Dolly!"

By: Kenneth Stratton '19 | Published: March 01, 2019 | Categories: Alumni

The glitz and glimmer of Gilded Age-era New York will be brought to life at Western New England University, when Stageless Players presents, Hello Dolly!

The eighth musical under the direction of Hillary Bucs, Associate Professor of Theater, Hello Dolly! follows up on the recent success of Stageless Players, who have previously presented Murdered to Death, Footloose and Beauty and the Beast among other plays and musicals.

“The students work [so] hard to bring such a large show to life in such a small space,” Bucs said. “We rehearse three nights a week, have production meetings every week, and the technical theatre students work many hours to bring costumes, props, lighting, and set pieces to life,” Bucs said of the group’s dedication.

Part of that hard work, especially for a spectacle like Hello Dolly!, includes making sure the show is steeped in history. In doing so, Stageless Players hopes to recognize the original show’s 1964 Broadway opening, while staying true to its 1890’s setting.

“In addition to the typical rehearsal schedule, I've been dedicating more time outside of the conventional hours to practice. This includes scoring my script, doing accent work, and researching into the history of the 1890s,” explained senior Jimmy Sullivan, who will be playing Cornelius Hackl in the play

“As a history major, I find this incredibly useful in informing how I portray Cornelius. I am also working with Hillary Bucs to transmit some of this information to the rest of the cast and the audience,” Sullivan explained.

Involved with Stageless Players since her first year at Western New England, junior Sarah Waterhouse looks forward to playing the title character, Dolly Levi. She says she grew up watching Hello Dolly! with her mom, and calls this opportunity a dream role.

“I am beyond elated to be playing such a legendary and amazing role, especially after the recent passing of Carol Channing who was the first Dolly on Broadway,” Waterhouse explained. “Stageless Players has a special place in my heart and I’m excited to take center stage in such an empowering and amazing role,” Sarah added.

With the hours and dedication put into shows like Hello Dolly!, Stageless Players has enjoyed a period of growth and greater recognition in recent years. Kayla Van Buren, senior and president of the organization, has experienced these changes first hand.

“I am personally very proud of the growth the club has experienced in the last few years, and have been a huge advocate for trying new things and taking on technically and artistically dynamic shows,” Kayla said. “It means a lot that our alumni have also taken interest,” she added.

Hello Dolly is a very expressive historical show, and it will encompass our continuing to grow on both sides of the stage, as well as continue to show our campus community that there are no limits to the talents of our students,” Kayla said.

To Sullivan, Stageless Players is a tight-knit group of like-minded individuals, driven by passion, talent and a good-natured spirit. The shows he’s worked on over the years have provided him countless memories, and Hello Dolly! has been no exception.

Hello, Dolly! ​is, in many ways, a show about hope, love, and the dream for a better life. There's humor, romance, drama, and plenty of surprises to keep the audience on the edge of their seats,” Sullivan said, welcoming anyone interested to visit campus and enjoy the show.

Show dates are Friday, April 12 and Saturday, April 13 at 7 p.m. A matinee will also be shown that Saturday at 1 p.m.