What do Harvard Law School, student-run organizations and a striking amount of the color pink all have in common? The Miami Theatre Players production of “Legally Blonde” of course!
The Miami Theatre Players is a theatre troupe on campus completely student-run (what, like it’s hard?) and produces one musical every semester. Previous productions include “Carrie” (Spring ‘18), “The Wild Party” (Fall ‘18) and most recently “Heathers” (Spring ‘19), which sold-out almost every show.
Granting opportunities to those who are not always involved in campus theatre, or who may not have otherwise been given the chance, is the mission of the troupe. Everyone, regardless of major, is encouraged to audition for the Miami Theatre Players.
The organization is collaboratively run, with revolving e-board positions elected every semester. Additionally, every member involved with the most recently produced musical, as well as any student interested in auditioning for the next musical, are invited to vote for the show that will be produced the following semester.
“Legally Blonde” was chosen for this semester’s production for a variety of different reasons — practically, the troupe knew they’d have enough female talent to pull it off and that they’d be able to manage the sets and costumes. Additionally, the musical was chosen because “it’s a ton of fun” according to Director Sami Davidson, and the way the show allows every actor at least one moment in the spotlight.
“There are a lot of opportunities for every single person in the cast to shine,” Davidson said.
The talent of this cast definitely shines, according to Caitlyn Schmidt, who plays Paulette Bounafounte. “Miami has many powerhouse male and female performers,” Schmidt added. “But this [production] really shows off the female showstoppers, like our Elle Woods.”
The performance goes beyond a fun show produced by talented people, however. “Legally Blonde” is, at its core, a show about feminism and female empowerment.
The musical follows the story of Elle Woods, a UCLA sorority girl who initially enrolls in Harvard Law School to get her ex-boyfriend back by showing him she can be serious after all. But the protagonist eventually realizes her strengths as a lawyer, ditches the goal of getting the guy, lands a highly-esteemed internship and even successfully defends a suspect on trial for murder, all while never sacrificing her bubbly, pink, “girly” personality — because she doesn’t have to!
“It’s a great message,” Davidson said. “You can be anything you want to be, no matter what anyone thinks.”
This musical encourages audiences, especially women in attendance, to defy stereotypes and to never let themselves be boxed in by a label. That alone has always made “Legally Blonde” a show worth going to see.
“It means so much to me to play a character who proves femininity doesn’t make you stupid,” said Lauren Rein, who will play Elle Woods.
Join Rein and the entire cast and crew of “Legally Blonde” tonight, Thursday, Dec. 5 at 7:30 p.m. in McKenna Theatre for their opening performance. Additional performances take place on Saturday, Dec. 7 at 2:30 and 7:30 p.m. Tickets are sold at the door: $5 for students and $10 general admission.