The Newman University music department will present its spring musical, “Pure Imagination,” at 7:30 p.m. April 26, 27 and 28 in the Performance Hall of De Mattias Hall.
Every year the music department creates an original musical. Last year, the musical “Peace, Love, & Music” centered around college students in the 1960s who speculate what music will be like in the decades beyond.
This year’s musical focuses on children’s imaginative musings concerning the hopes and dreams of their future.
Dean of Academic Support and Effectiveness Phil Speary of Butler Community College wrote the musical. Speary’s expansive career involves acting in film, television, playwriting, directing and teaching.
Speary said the inspiration for the musical came from listening to Josh Groban’s rendition of “Pure Imagination,” which was originally performed by Gene Wilder in the 1971 film “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.”
The children are played by the younger siblings of the Newman chorale members — each having had a formal audition for their role. They also attend practice every Wednesday until tech week.
Dyana Baca is one of those chorale members whose 14-year old brother, Giomar, will perform in the show.
Giomar said he has been in some school productions during different times of his life, going back to the first grade. But this will be the first time he will be in a collegiate production.
“It’s great working with everyone,” said Giomar. “She (Dyana) told me about it and asked if I wanted to go, and I was a little nervous at the audition. Everyone helps me, especially (Newman Chorale member) Dakota.”
Dyana said she thinks working with people much older and memorizing so many lines will definitely be a different, but good experience for him.
“I think it’s a bit strange, because of the age difference,” said Dyana. “But I’ve never had an opportunity to work with him like this. I’m glad he took the opportunity and did it.”
Deanne Zogleman, director of the music department at Newman, said, “I love the music in this show. We have tried to make it new and exciting and I think we have achieved it. The students seem really pumped for this show and a lot of the songs are uplifting and have a beautiful message.”
Tickets are $15 for adults and $5 for students. Newman students get in free with ID.
Zogleman added, “It’s wonderful to see this production come to life and to watch the immense talent we have.”