Dairy Loving Anarchists: The Rehearsal Process of The Milk Made

Hi all! I am honored to be serving as cast producer for our rewrite production, The Milk Made, going up in three weeks! I have been fortunate to sit in on the rehearsal process with our wonderful staff and cast. Being a new show (written the brilliant writing team of LyLena Estabine and Mira-Rose Kingsbury Lee), we have cast originating their roles, making brave acting choices to perform the wonderful book by Mira-Rose Kingsbury Lee. This occurs under the guidance of our fantastic creative team- our stage director is the fabulous Victoria Gong, our music director is the amazing Keagan Yap, and our stage manager is the marvelous Lucas Walsh. The writing, directing, and management team radiates energy, creativity, and positivity and it is a joy to work with them (as well as run to CVS with them after a long night of rehearsals to get Ben & Jerry’s ice cream flavors). The orchestra is hard at work rehearsing the music of a variety of G&S songs from shows such as The Pirates of PenzanceHMS PinaforePrincess Ida, and Utopia Limited to name a few, as the music for the show is the music of Sir Arthur Sullivan, while the lyrics are creatively original by LyLena Estabine. 

Much work gets done outside of the rehearsal room as well by our amazing team of staff and designers. Staff meetings occur every week on Saturdays at 10:30am in Quincy House, and we have design presentations, updates, and onboardings of new staff members (as well as snacks). Throughout this process, I have been fortunate to have the support of an amazing team of producers- Olympia Hatzilambrou as technical producer, Ian Svetkey as orchestra producer, and Clarissa Briasco-Stewart as the production advisor. They are talented and dedicated as well as the most wonderful people. We have grabbed many brunches in DHalls and have supported each other in producing duties. As I am a first time producer as well as being relatively new to in person theater at Harvard (I am a sophomore, but this is my first on campus year), I am extremely thankful to all of the support and guidance I have received from my fellow producers, production staff and creative teams, as well as the Agassiz Theater and Office for the Arts at Harvard. 

It is amazing to see the vision for this show come to fruition through the hard work of all involved. It is an honor to work alongside each member of this production and I hope you will all come see The Milk Made March 24th-27th! 


The Transition Back to In-Person Theater

Autumn is the time of new beginnings and reunions. It has a special meaning for me this year after the long duration in the age of Zoom and the return of the Harvard community to its hallowed campus. As a sophomore, I had no real experience of in person life and theater at Harvard last year, so having the communities I joined on Zoom, including the fabulous HRG&SP, helped my transition from virtual to in person theater and Harvard life tremendously. From maintaining production and Board traditions to the in-person UNOs, my love for this organization has grown since I have been on campus and I know that will only continue.

As a member of the new board class and a sophomore never having been in a Harvard theater space before, my beginning days on campus were filled with excitement and nerves. My first time in the Agassiz Theater was during auditions for The Pirates of Penzance, and I was overcome with a mix of trepidation, exhilaration, and wonder. Surrounded by people who I had only seen on a Zoom screen, it was a surreal experience to share energy in the same space and see if our height predictions were accurate. The connections formed over Zoom have strengthened the experiences of in-person theater, from creating music in time with other people with no Zoom lag, having little moments with others on stage and interacting with others in real time, to rehearsal breaks and sharing snacks and stories about our day. Every rehearsal is filled with the sounds of beautiful voices and cheery smiles under the masks and I cannot wait for the experience of performing in front of a live audience with the cast and crew of Pirates; it is an amazing production with wonderfully talented performers.

Knowing that I get to make art through performances with my colleagues and friends here and at other spaces on campus for the next three years is truly a gift, and I am looking forward to the adventure.


P.S. If you want to experience in person theater again, come see The Pirates of Penzance at the Agassiz Theater November 11, 12, 13, 14th !