An inside look at MU theater group ACMO

Olivia Synoracki
Staff Writer

Every year, the All Campus Musical Organization (ACMO) works hard to produce four major shows.
These performances, which are directed, choreographed, and managed by students, give the Millersville community a chance to see the talent ingrained in our university.
As a member and board executive, I can honestly say that being involved in these productions has provided me with an experience of a lifetime. For the past two years, I have participated in the Fall Showcase, the first performance ACMO presents every fall semester. The Showcase usually consists of Broadway musical songs.

As the Fall Showcase comes to a close, the members of ACMO look forward to the spring semester where they will perform Legally Blonde: The Musical.

However, this year there was a collaboration of songs from a wide array of genres, including Indie Rock, Broadway, and Pop.
Just a few weekends ago, the 2012 Fall Showcase was performed in downtown Lancaster at the Millersville Ware Center.
Songs such as, Poison and Wine by The Civil Wars, Seize the Day from the musical Newsies, Valerie by Amy Winehouse, and Oh What a Night from the musical Jersey Boys were all brought to life on the stage.
Yet, to create a spell-bounding experience for the audience, it is not enough to just walk on stage and sing a song; the procedure is much more time-consuming than that.
The whole process of ACMO’s Fall Showcase begins the spring semester before, when the Executive Board decides on a director. For the 2012 show, we chose Sarah Ward to fulfill the position, believing she would create a memorable performance for both cast and audience members.
Ward’s song list was another reason she was chosen for the job. Her vision was to create a show where the cast could relate to the songs, while adding their own twist to the mix.
Her first time directing, Ward now understands the pressure and responsibility that comes with running a production like the Fall Showcase.
As she went through the process of making the rehearsal schedule, working with the cast, and unifying the concert, Ward learned more about herself. In her words, “My eyes have opened up to more about performance in the eyes of those that judge us, rather than through a performers eyes.”.
The Director of Showcase is not the only one who has to work hard in order to accomplish a successful show.
The cast plays a prominent role in tightening up loose ends to establish themselves for the concert.
After auditions, rehearsals start, allowing the cast to learn their songs and become comfortable with them.
Usually rehearsals begin in September and go up until the show. This period of time is a big commitment for the cast, knowing to expect being pushed to the limits, as well as late rehearsals.
Ward knew that the Showcase would be a big commitment for her cast, yet, she commends them for the work they put forth to accomplish her vision for the 2012 Showcase.
On a final note, Ward wanted to leave her cast with a message: “To my cast, I want them to know that I couldn’t ask for a more talented group of people. I appreciate all the time and effort they have given me and I am so lucky to have so many people be involved in my first director position. Hard work pays off and you deserve a great show so that is what you will get!”
Although the Fall Showcase has a long process till the opening night, it is being on stage in front of a large audience that makes the whole experience worth while.
Even though I get nervous every time I step out onto a stage, I still love performing. When the stage lights hit my face, I forget all my nerves and zone into the place I know and love, music.
In the past two years that I have been involved in ACMO, the Fall Showcase has been a huge part of my life.

Johnny Guignet performs in one of the ACMO Fall Showcase numbers.

Getting involved in this organization has taken up much of my time, but every minute has been worth it.
Although the 2012 Fall Showcase has come to an end, that does not mean that my time performing has.
ACMO’s second production has already made its way into the works and rehearsals start this week.
With the Holiday season drawing near, the Executive Board agreed that a Holiday Benefit Concert would be a fresh new idea for the organization.
Director, Katerina Bergerstock recently held auditions for the event and has combined an all-star cast to bring forth the Holiday spirit.
The show, which will be performed on December 5 at 8:00p.m. in Dutcher Hall, includes a variety of holiday songs, all the way from Santa Baby to Mary Did You Know.
Along with the holiday spirit comes the gift of good cheer. As a philanthropy for the Holiday Benefit Concert, ACMO has decided to raise money for Toys for Tots.
A much smaller production than the Fall Showcase, the holiday concert still calls for dedication and effort.
Together, the cast will rehearse long hours to prepare for the celebration of the holidays.
These two events are only part of the activities ACMO is involved in throughout the academic year.
Spring semester includes more shows for members to perform in or for audiences to view, including Musical Mad Libs and Legally Blonde the Musical.
The big show of spring is Legally Blonde. As ACMO’s first performance in the new Visual and Performing Arts Center, this musical will be very pink!
Although the show is not until next semester, auditions are just around the corner. Wanting to pick the cast before fall semester is finished, Director Seth Sponhouse, plans for this to be a great show.
ACMO always strives to make our performances as professional as they can be. Yet, we make them fun, entertaining, and enjoyable for both the cast and audience.
Each time I perform with ACMO, I know that I will come out of a show smiling, knowing that my time in this organization is worth every minute.