The Vern’s black box theater temporally stopped belonging to the University and became property of Emperor Kuzco as his play, The Emperors New Groove, premiered this past weekend.
Adapted from the movie of by the same name, director Shira Herald, made it a personal challenge to bring the animation to the stage.
“About a year ago I was watching the movie, and I love the movie, and I joked to my friend wouldn’t it be funny if we adapted this to stage? I am very bad at jokes and it became reality,” said Herald.
Before audiences could see the show, Herald had to overcome many obstacles to bring the whimsical scenes of the movie to the stage. The famous lever scene with Yzma and Kronk is done with some interpretive acting and a homemade roller coaster car. The time Kuzco and Pacha go over a waterfall is staged with moving set pieces. The chase scene at the climax, that might be impossible to stage, is taken over by Jennifer Rose playing Theme Song Guy, where she goes into a rendition of a song about how “Somethings, you just can’t stage!” making light of some of the limitations of the theater. Many of these creative ideas were what made this original adaptation both unique and hilarious. This play was conferrable using out-of-the-box solutions, which had a great result.
Kronk played by student, Colin Murphy, liked the way Herald used humor to direct the show. “The show is so ridiculous in so many ways, in a great way, its very open. Shira made it open so that we could all bring our talents and ideas to our characters and to add new things, and we are constantly doing that. I think with our input we have brought it to a new level,” said Murphy.
“My favorite part of the show, is how invested everyone is in the show,” said Paige Davis, who plays Chaca, “You can look at anyone on stage and any point in time and they are just so focused and ingrained in what they are doing, and excited to be on stage! I’m just really lucky to have been apart of this experience.”