The Oldest College Weekly in America. Founded 1868.

The Colgate Maroon-News

The Oldest College Weekly in America. Founded 1868.

The Colgate Maroon-News

The Oldest College Weekly in America. Founded 1868.

The Colgate Maroon-News

Masque and Triangle Debuts ‘Be More Chill’

Sarah Oley

Colgate University’s Masque and Triangle (M&T), a student theater group, has worked hard on a production of “Be More Chill,” with past shows on Feb. 23, 24, 25 and 29, and one last show taking place on March 1 at 7 p.m. in Dana Arts Center’s Brehmer Theater. The charming yet wacky musical is about a boy taking a supercomputer pill to become popular.

Be More Chill’ is really original and unabashedly itself,” sophomore Lara Blanton, the production’s stage manager, said. “It’s sci-fi; it’s coming of age; it’s friendship and the importance of family and staying true to yourself.”

While the show tells the story of a high schooler struggling with self-confidence and peer pressure, the lessons are applicable to those of all ages. Furthermore, the show, which is based on a 2004 sci-fi book by the late Ned Vizzini, may have new implications for our current world, as artificial intelligence (AI) continues to develop.

“I don’t think we could get an AI computer into peoples’ brains quite yet, but we seem to be making strides, and there are implications for what a computer can do — even though they might not be as intense as this show presents them,” junior Danny Ruiz said. 

Senior Rachel Sita was the director of the show, and she had a major role in facilitating the development of a production that truly embodies the character and soul of “Be More Chill.” This show has no official dramaturg, but the collaboration of creative minds has certainly paid mind to ideas of dramaturgy. This show is a conglomeration of the idiosyncratic voices of Vizzini and the stage adaptation’s author, Joe Tracz, and the creative team worked hard to represent these voices within their production.

“It took a lot of coordination with our production team and with our design team to create a set, costumes and everything else that has come together to make this production,” Sita said. “We really wanted to lean into the campiness of it, develop a set that looks like a comic book and show that these are like characters from that world.”

Though the show may seem quirky beyond reality, the actors found themselves impressed by the humanity that Joe Iconis brought to life when he wrote the music and lyrics for “Be More Chill.”

“[The characters are] some of the most human characters in a lot of the shows that [Masque and Triangle] has done,” junior Alex Tauber said, who played Mr. Heere.

“It’s unexpected, but you can relate to it more than you would originally think,” sophomore Madeline Vuignier said, who played Rich Goranski.

The production team did not anticipate the need for a live band, but copyright restrictions forced them to work quickly to find one. Ruiz was the music director for the production, and he was in charge of a live band that he thinks made the show even more incredible. 

“From a music point of view, this show is probably the hardest I’ve been a part of,” Ruiz said. “We found out [about the need for a live band] about seven weeks into the production […] but it is one of the best sounding [productions] I’ve done.”

The hard work and determination of the cast and crew did not go unnoticed by their director. Sita made note of the incredible efforts from all of the cast members.

“I’m really proud of this group and every single person that has contributed to where the show is now,” Sita said. “Everybody is doing a really great job, and I’m really excited to see this final product — and for everybody else to see it, as well.”

The team from Masque and Triangle not only brought this story to life, but also worked together to produce a sci-fi show full of heart and character.

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