Get Caught in “Eternal Ramnation” with the Splinter Group

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The cast hopes students will relate to the characters on stage. (COURTESY OF THE SPLINTER GROUP)

By ANA FOTA
Arts & Culture Co-Editor

It is often said that art imitates life. Fordham Lincoln Center’s musical theatre club, the Splinter Group, will be doing just that through their new musical, “Eternal Ramnation.” Based on first hand experiences of LC’s current undergraduate students, the original production will feature songs on topics including the core curriculum, rushing to catch the elevator before class, dating on campus and registration among others. “People go to the theatre and see mundane things acted out all the time,” Dan Wilson, Fordham College at Lincoln Center(FCLC) ‘17, said. “There’s a dignity in everyday life, there’s something about it that’s special.”

It was Wilson who sparked the idea for a Fordham-based musical last year. It all started with a song about the McMahon hall mailroom, entitled “You May Sign.” Wilson played it for the club’s eboard, which then decided it needs to be performed at the conclusion of their Disney Revue performance, last year. When the group jokingly mentioned the song is part of a Fordham-based musical, the crowd couldn’t stop cheering. 

“People got really excited,” Wilson said.”I’ve always had aspirations of doing it but never really sat down to think. This motivated me to write it.” Thus, the idea was born and the wheels were spinning. He has spent the last few months writing the book, score and lyrics for the production.

During a meeting at the beginning of the semester, “Ramnation” sparked a discussion regarding casting, budget and its overall production. The heated debate inspired the show’s first scene, a play-by-play reenactment of said meeting, setting a “show within a show” feeling to the production. Wilson, a philosophy major with a minor in music, is graduating early at the end of the semester. “My nightmare is that people will see it and not like it,” Wilson quipped. “Then I graduate and that’s how I’m remembered. Which would almost be funnier that the show,” he continued.

A collaborative effort, the group listened to suggestions from the actors and other student leaders. Featuring a core cast of around 20 students, the show aims at a comedic spin on the stressful college life, while staying true to reality. According to Danny Holmberg, FCLC ‘18, treasurer and PR representative for the group, the eboard members will be playing exaggerated versions of themselves – which they had to audition for, of course.

“We wanted to represent the entire spectrum of people you would meet in the hallway here,” he said. “We’ve also covered a wide range of emotions that one will feel in their fordham career.” They also included nods to crowd favorites such as Associate Dean for Freshmen Joseph Desciak and university president, Rev. Joseph Michael McShane, S.J. “We treat him like a greek god,” Holmberg joked.

A particularly collaborative scene was that in which several members of the United Student Government(USG) play versions of themselves. Leighton Magoon, FCLC’17 and USG president, will be playing the role of Clayton Lagoon, a questionable leader facing impeachment. “He made me kind of a Julius Caesar type,” he laughs. “It’s definitely going to be exaggerated. Everyone playing themselves is really playing their opposite.”

The two clubs have been working together, rehearsing for the past few weeks and coming up with new ideas to improve the show and include as many inside jokes as possible. “It shows how much USG has grown too,” he said, adding “we take ourselves seriously but we can also poke fun at ourselves.”

The show will break-in the new McNally Amphitheatre, a space designated for student activities in the building at 140 62nd St. It is free of charge, and the curtain will be up Friday, Nov 18 at 8pm. As one of the characters says in the show, “how’s that for Jesuit values?”