New Kids inject energy, personality into MTC performances

Each Musical Theatre Club performance has its landmark moments: relatable and hilarious musical satires, ballads that leave behind goose bumps and the traditional “New Kid Number.”

This quirky assemblage of new faces onstage is a testament to MTC’s established identity at Geneseo. Each semester, it leaves audiences wondering how these “New Kids” will fit into MTC’s monumental program in the future. Every MTC member went through the new kid experience at some point in their career.

The spring 2013 New Kid class is preparing for its MTC debut along with the group’s more seasoned members. “MTC 3: Even Better than the Sequel” centers on a movie theme, but with a twist. The show chronicles a zombie apocalypse.

Zombies rise from the dead to “I’m Alive” from “Next to Normal “and humans mobilize to fight back to songs from “Book of Mormon” and “Les Misérables.” The show also features songs from “Hair” and the Spice Girls musical, “Viva Forever!” along with many others.

MTC President senior Katelyn Hearfield described the new kid number as “not typical.” The spring 2013 New Kids - nicknamed the SOBs - will perform “Wanted Dead or Alive” from “Rock of Ages.” Eboard members juniors Erin Girard and Luke Martin, who play the role of “New Kid Parents” this semester, are directing the number. They serve as mentors to the new members throughout their first semester in MTC.

The song is a testament to toughness, necessitating rock inspired dance moves, air guitar and the raw energy that comes along with first performance jitters. Each of the eight new kids has their chance to shine with a solo.

“A lot of the previous numbers were all so funny and cheery and kind of cheesy in a way and ours does have an element of cheese, but I think in a more serious way,” said sophomore New Kid Jes Kirkpatrick. “We’re trying to introduce ourselves in a way that I think is not usually done by New Kids - in a confident, badass way. Here we are world; we’re ready to rock MTC.”

The spring 2013 New Kids had a variety of reasons for auditioning for MTC. Some said they strove to rekindle a lost love of musical theater from high school, others wanted to expand longstanding singing and dancing talents. Senior New Kid Chris Martin said he wanted to experience MTC before graduating, after previously focusing on his music major and playing saxophone.

According to Hearfield, the audition process requires all members to re-audition each semester, and members for the upcoming semester are selected by the eboard. Each student auditioning is required to perform a song and learn a dance combination.

“The most important part of the audition is we want to see people’s personality,” said Hearfield. “What we like to tell everyone in the club is that the reason that you’re here … is because when you auditioned, the officers of the club that semester saw something unique in you.”

MTC rehearses most Saturdays and Sundays throughout the day and, during its tech weeks, late into the night.

“The thing is, it’s like a fun time commitment … This is so fun and I love it here, so the time commitment isn’t even a problem,” said freshman New Kid Kevin Hauser.

The New Kids emphasized MTC as a welcoming environment to make friends and learn, whether it be about dancing, theater or teamwork.

“Just being here and having everyone around you and even though you haven’t really known each other for long, it’s a huge family,” sophomore New Kid Erin Donovan said.

“MTC 3: Even Better than the Sequel” runs from April 4 to 6 at 8 p.m. in Alice Austin Theatre. Tickets are distributed for free at the door before each show.