Freshmen hold auditions for ‘Grease’

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Sydni Tougas, a senior at Syracuse University, still remembers the night of her freshman activity fair. As she strolled through the booths advertising SU’s many campus organizations, she heard the music from “Heathers: The Musical.” Naturally, she turned to the freshman table, she said, and the rest was history.

After last year’s show, when COVID-19 forced FYP to debut their musical via video recording, the on-campus theater organization is ready to resume regular show business.

On January 26, FYP will begin auditions for this year’s musical, “Grease.” Casting auditions, booth auditions, and crew interviews will be held throughout the weekend for freshmen on campus. The entry sheet can be found on FYP’s Facebook and Instagram pages.

FYP is a unique organization because it helps integrate freshmen into the SU community, said Tougas, one of FYP’s co-producers. Usually around 50 freshmen make up the cast, crew, and pit members, and then upperclass members work as the board and staff.



Tougas spoke about the growth she has experienced within FYP.

“No matter what you do in your first year, your trajectory in the organization can go anywhere you want,” she said. “Even if you improve a person’s year, that’s all that matters.”

Cate Hudson, a sophomore from SU, joined FYP last year on the crew. Her role was to build and paint sets, move sets and props during the show, and help behind the scenes. She said she was involved in theater growing up, so when she came to Syracuse, joining FYP was a great way to keep her love for theater alive.

“I had never been on the crew before,” she said. “I wanted to get a new perspective on acting.”

First Year Players students have performed pieces such as “Something Rotten” in the past.
Courtesy of First Year Players

Hudson not only had a great time experiencing theater through the lens of the team, but also enjoyed meeting and getting to know so many people who shared his same interests. She said she particularly appreciates FYP’s mentorship by older students. Starting college in the middle of a pandemic was tough and depressing, Hudson said, but joining FYP gave her a support system and a chance to meet her role models.

This year, Hudson will serve on FYP’s board as an associate producer, and she said she’s looking forward to leading the mentorship program. Every freshman who joins FYP will have a mentor and join a family within the organization, which is like a bonding experience, she said.

“I knew I was a priority and felt so loved,” she said. “It’s such a great thing to feel, especially from older people who have also been through this and are able to pass it on. It shows how special (FYP) is and how much people care about this organization. »

SU Senior and FYP Director Caroline Whinney said she joined FYP after seeing a preview performance while on campus tour. She immediately joined the cast of “Newsies” and served as an assistant director for the past two years. As a director, she said she helps bring the vision of the series to life through the performance of the actors.

Like Whinney, seniors and co-producers Vivi Collymore and Tougas joined FYP after doing high school acting and yearning for more involvement on campus. Collymore joined the crew and Tougas played drums in the pit. Now, as co-producers, they will oversee the board and membership within the organization.

FYP’s supportive environment gave him the opportunity to try new things, Collymore said. Even without previous team experience, she discovered a passion for management and was able to grow.

“It’s like a family,” Whinney said. She said a lot of the members don’t major in acting, so FYP gives them a creative outlet.

Auditions and interviews will take place from January 26 to 29, and call-backs will take place on January 31 and February 1. The final cast and crew list will be released later next week. “Grease” will be played from April 7 to 9.

Hudson encourages every freshman to participate in FYP.

“Hearing!” Hudson said. “You have nothing to lose and so much to gain. It’s such an amazing organization.

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