It Started Out With a Director’s Chair: Reflections on MERRILY
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It Started Out With a Director’s Chair: Reflections on MERRILY

In her blog post, Artistic Director Dev Bondarin reflects on time spent with MERRILY WE ROLL ALONG, from her time with the show in college to APAC’s current production.


Nicholas Park, Ally Bonino, Jack Mosbacher

Nicholas Park, Ally Bonino, Jack Mosbacher

It started out with a director’s chair. During one of our last rehearsals, I was struck with the specific memory of working on a production of Merrily We Roll Along my senior year of college and how one of my responsibilities, as assistant stage manager, was moving a director’s chair on stage in the first scene change. It felt right that in this present moment, while feeling the excited anxiety of taking a show that means so much to me and putting it on stage with production elements after 4 weeks of intense rehearsal, I was also feeling nostalgic for a past time when my college friends and I were putting on a show and just starting out.

This dual sense of present emotion and the memory of a simpler time is one that has been with me throughout the entire process of working on Merrily We Roll Along at APAC, and this duality is a key part of the show’s storytelling. Told in reverse chronological order, the structure allows us to track the lives of the characters as they go from tightly wound (to quote one of the actors) and weighted down to lighter and more optimistic. Taking the journey with this show will lead us to think about the decisions, missteps, and chance encounters that make up our lives. This unique story, coupled with a fantastic score, is what makes Merrily We Roll Along one of my favorite musicals. This show means a great deal to me and was my first choice to produce as my first musical at APAC as Artistic Director. And it has been a truly extraordinary experience.

My relationship with Merrily began with moving a director’s chair and it has been a privilege to get to be in the director’s chair for this production working with this talented cast and team.

My hope is that a moment or two in the story of these old friends resonates with members of the audience about life, time, past and present as we all explore together how we got to be here. And I hope you will join us–we play through May 23rd.

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