Rider Student Theater Company to present original student work 

By Marissa Spencer

The Rider Student Theatre Company will present  “Coffee Hour Cabaret,” a one-night-only event on March 3 at 9 p.m. in the Spitz Theater of the Fine Arts Building. Blending the sights and sounds of a cozy cafe, “Coffee Hour Cabaret” is the second student-run cabaret of the season. with an original script written by junior musical theater major Mya Bodnick.

Bodnick and junior musical theater major Lydia Diekmann have embarked on their dual directorial debut, conducting a cast of 15 musical theater majors.

The duo is no stranger to the stage, as prior assistant directorial credits include working under some of Rider’s faculty, including T. Oliver Reid and Ryanne Domingues.

Diekmann recalled her time assistant directing Rider’s 2022 production of “Pride and Prejudice,” where Domingues fostered her desire to direct by teaching her “how to speak to the actors … and what looks good on a stage,” she said.

“There’s a lot of risks and decision making that comes along with directing … you really just have to trust your instincts and go,” Bodnick said, detailing her first non-assistant directing job.

Bodnick said she drew the concept of the show from a dream, contributed by the influence of her family’s travels. 

“There’s a definite love for coffee in my family,” she said. “Wherever we go we always try to visit the local coffee factory, farm or cafe.”

As the rehearsal process is underway and actors are prepping for this weekend’s show, the two directors are collaborating to bring the heartfelt production to the student body.

Bodnick and Diekmann met prior to attending Rider on a pre-college Zoom call in 2021 where Diekmann recalled thinking, “I have a feeling this girl and I are going to become close friends.”

“From the minute I met her online, I knew that we had like minds,” said Diekmann.

Other team members include junior musical theater major Breanna Lemerise as the music director and sophomore Peyton Divirgilio, who is stage managing the production.

“It’s been an awesome experience … it’s taught me so much about leadership and creativity,” said Bodnick. “I wrote the script, which ties all the songs together. I love to write.”

Bodnick describes the production as having a “jukebox musical feel,” meaning familiar songs with unfamiliar situations.

“The actors have such great chemistry with each other,” said Diekmann. 

While “Coffee Hour Cabaret” is sold out, the waitlist has remaining spots for potential admissions.


Related Articles

Back to top button