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Alumni to present 2009 Fringe Festival's Rumspringa the Musical on campus

Posted by Judy Korn on Tuesday, Sep. 8, 2009

In 2006, Rumspringa won four UMMys—and the hearts and funny bones—of judges and audiences during the annual University of Minnesota, Morris Student Film Festival. Last summer, during the Twin Cities 2009 Fringe Festival, Rumspringa characters created in song, word, and dance for the film came to life once again in a new artistic expression: Rumspringa the Musical. The stage production was created by UMM alumni: co-producers Jake Scott ’06 and Tyler Helland ’07, composer Paul Jenni ’06, and songwriter Andrew Tralle ’08. On Saturday, September 12, 2009, at 7:30 p.m., you can see their production in Edson Auditorium in the Student Center.

Rumspringa the Musical follows the journey of Rebekah, a young Amish woman, who “takes her rumspringa,” an opportunity to explore the world beyond her community. Scott shares that the plot, “definitely a comedy,” involves a love triangle between Rebekah and her Amish suitor, and Rebekah and a futuristic robot.

Inspired by attending the 2007 Fringe Festival and seeing an opportunity for their production, Jenni and Scott began revising the original film script and musical compositions into a stage musical structure more than a year ago.

“We’ve been polishing and tweaking in a casual way in our free time,” shares Scott. In June, when they learned that their show was chosen by lottery as a Fringe Festival production, they worked hard to pull details together and conducted rehearsals in earnest.

And while Scott notes that the show was an “incredible amount of work,” he also shares that rehearsals were very fun and felt like UMM “reunions” with so many Morris graduates involved in the production. The artistic team of actors, writers, and musicians included: Alex Carlson ’08, theatre arts and economics Katie Carlson ’09, theatre arts, English, and secondary education licensure John Eisenrich ’09, social science Bert Michalscheck ’09, music Tyler Helland ’07, chemistry Scott ’06, elementary education Andrew Talle, music and secondary education licensure and Paul Jenni ’06, mathematics and physics.

Photo above: Bert Michalscheck, Jake Scott (front), Paul Jenni, John Eisenrich, and Alex Carlson