A musical first

MONICA PRYTS | Allied NewsGrove City College students prepare for “Antigone and the King,” an original musical based on a Greek tragedy; it was written by seniors Micah Mooney and Noah Gould. From left are Katarina Meikrantz, Mooney, Anna Porter, Gould and Michael Kolker.

GROVE CITY – After more than two years in the making, Grove City College seniors Noah Gould and Micah Mooney are ready to debut their original musical based on a Greek tragedy.

“Antigone and the King” will take the stage at 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, and 2 p.m. Saturday in the Little Theatre of Pew Fine Arts Center on campus.

It is free and open to the public, and it’s already gotten so much buzz that it’s sold out. Those still wanting to attend are welcome to show up before each performance to see if any seats become available.

“It’s a bit scary and crazy,” Mooney said of how it’s almost showtime.

This is GCC’s first full-length student-produced musical.

Mooney, 21, is a music major from Sellersville, Pa., and Gould, 22, is an economics major from Granby, Mass.

They first met their freshman year at GCC while taking a humanities and literature class led by Dr. Eric Potter.

Both men were also accepted into GCC’s Trustee Scholarship Program, which provides additional opportunities for research and study. They earned class credits for their work on the musical.

In Potter’s class, they read “Antigone,” a play written by Sophocles in 400 B.C. Mooney loved the discussions surrounding the story.

“The original play had a lot of compelling themes,” Gould said.

The pair decided to work together on adapting the play into a musical, expanding on the story to make it more appealing to a wider audience.

They worked on it for about 2½ years, writing 16 original songs, a nod to the roots of Greek theater, which often had music, they said.

“Antigone and the King” follows King Creon, the new ruler of Thebes who decrees that the body of Antigone’s traitorous brother remains unburied following war.

The story goes on to show what happens when Antigone objects, centering on the idea that the past has a great impact on the present, Gould and Mooney said.

“And three muses guide us through the show,” Gould said.

Mooney has been composing for years, and Gould did some theater growing up.

They said that writing a musical is like solving a problem – it’s satisfying when everything falls into place.

“This project has been such a joy,” Gould said.

Finding enough free time to finish the musical was a challenge; both students are involved in other activities on campus.

And student actors auditioned without the script and songs, but they were on board right with the project. “We really care about it,” Mooney said.

They’ve been making some last-minute changes, and they have a lot of people to thank for support – the cast, crew, staff, faculty, family and friends.

Anna Porter, 20, a junior majoring in communication studies, is the student director. She really helped guide the process, even while she was studying abroad in Florence last semester, Gould and Mooney said.

“A lot of people don’t know what to expect,” Porter said of a musical produced by students.

The musical runs just under two hours, and the score is accompanied by a piano, violin and cello.

The set is minimal, and many of the costumes were made by Gould’s fiancee, Liney Parker.

Cast members are Meghan Walsh, Michael Kolker, Sarah Dawson, Spencer Simpson, Shannon Migliore, Benjamin Cooley, Katarina Meikrantz, Ally Tebben and and Olivia Kane.

Kolker, 21, a junior studying English, plays King Creon, who is under a lot of pressure but confident he can guide his city after war.

“Antigone and the King” is a modern retelling of Sophocles’ story, Kolker said, adding he’s excited to be part of it.

Meikrantz, 21, a junior psychology major, plays Clio, the muse of history.

She’s on stage for most of the musical, and there are a lot of costume changes.

The muses aren’t part of the original story, which she thinks makes it’s even more interesting.

“This is nothing like I’ve ever done before,” she said.

Mooney and Gould also want to thank their faculty advisor, Dr. Andrew Harvey; GCC’s theater honorary Tau Alpha Pi, which helped with sets, props and costumes; student Lauren Tebben, who helped with the writing in the beginning; Potter; and Dr. Joseph Hasper, music professor.

Gould and Mooney plan to record the performance so that it can be shared with others, and they’re hoping to get the songs onto Spotify, a digital music service.

They’re also thinking about bringing it to other audiences at events like workshops and festivals, and they’re interesting in writing another musical.

“It doesn’t feel like the end,” Mooney said.

FOR more information, visit “Antigone and the King” on Facebook.

Recommended for you