“Bulldogs on Broadway” wraps up MTP’s successful first year


Towne’s MTP class performs a musical theater piece as a group.

Avery Hamlin, Co-Editor-in-Chief

To end the school year, Edmond Memorial High School’s new class, Musical Theater Performance (MTP) taught by Patrick Towne, put on an entertaining show of various acts, similar to Follies (the annual variety show), that focus on musical theater called “Bulldogs on Broadway.” The show included big group acts that involved the whole class, smaller groups of trios or duets and solos for the seniors that wished to perform.

“I auditioned with three acts and two of them got in,” junior Joe Kelley said. “My act, ‘Not Getting Married Today,’ is very fast paced and energized, and I think that was what Towne was looking for in the acts; something bold and original that kept the audience engaged.”

The acts that made it into the show offered a variety of different eras, sounds and emotions that can be portrayed through theater. Musical theater is intended to tell a very specific story to the audience whether it be a fast-paced comedy or a somber ballad. “Bulldogs on Broadway” did a fantastic job at making sure all of these different emotions were accounted for in the show. 

“It was really awesome for us to have another opportunity besides Follies to perform songs that we selected on the big stage,” senior Lois Brenneman said. “Solos are not very common for Follies, so as a senior, it was fun seeing everyone have a chance at a solo performance of their choosing, as well as being in some big musical numbers with your peers.”

In day-to-day class, Towne uses the time to not only teach individual performance skills, but also teach his students the history of musical theater. He teaches audition and show etiquette, how to excel in the world of music and the importance of every individual show’s message. For many students, the opportunity to learn these things are once in a lifetime. 

“The purpose of MTP is to teach students how to be well versed in all aspects of musical theater performance such as singing, dancing, acting, song interpretation, choreography and auditioning,” Towne said. “If you are in the class you get to be in an act for Follies, and next year we are actually doing a full musical which will be so much fun.”

Because this class is focused on something so specific, students that took the class this year have said that it is a fantastic environment to make friends with people who enjoy the same hobby. Although the environment is meant to be competitive at times, because of the special bond between the students, the competition is very healthy and fun.   

“Musical theater isn’t easy and requires a certain level of energy. To be in MTP you must have the readiness to learn and grow and be open to lots of feedback from your peers and director,” Kelley said. “This class is about lifting each other up and we have created a really great community around that. It is very different from any other musical class you could take here at Memorial, because it combines so many different aspects of performance.”

With this year being the very first year that MTP has been a class, Towne and his students are very excited to see where next year will take them. Instead of “Bulldogs on Broadway,” next year the class will be rehearsing and performing a full musical. This is the first time in history that Memorial will be putting on two musicals in one school year. Overall, the MTP class had a very successful first year filled with great learning opportunities and performances.

Contact Avery Hamlin at [email protected]