FWD Theatre Project continues to create buzz and make news in Chicago’s musical theatre scene. In September we kicked off our powerhouse second season with a sold-out concert reading of Boublil & Schönberg’s La Révolution Française at Thalia Hall. On February 8th we’ll present LaunchingFWD : Season 2, a celebration of new musical theatre and sneak peak at the five original works selected for this year’s staged reading series – can’t wait to see you all there!
We’re also excited to introduce you to the two newest FWD family members, Madison Kennedy and Megan O’Toole, our sensational social media interns - or as we call them, the Amazing "M"s. These enterprising and energetic Columbia students are helping to “move FWD” in amazing ways!
We asked Madison & Megan to tell us a little about themselves, their love for and dedication to musical theatre, and what made them want to join FWD Theatre Project.
MADISON KENNEDY is a sophomore Directing major at Columbia College Chicago. Last summer she directed a cabaret to donate money to the Alzheimer’s association and she’s currently assistant stage managing Women On the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown at Columbia. Madison is originally from Cincinnati, Ohio.
What about musical theatre speaks to you? I love straight plays but I have always been much more drawn to musicals. I think the reason for this is my love for music. Sometimes music can convey what words cannot.
Why did you choose Columbia College Chicago? Columbia is a great school for networking. You realize early on that you have to constantly pursue opportunities because they are not handed to you there - you have to work for them.
What is your favorite thing about Chicago? Chicago is such a great city for 20-somethings and for theatre. There are so many different types of theatre here, and you can see a new show every week. I don’t always love the winter weather, but it’s worth it!
What is your favorite musical? Hedwig and the Angry Inch. It’s a beautiful story and the music is so much fun.
Why do we need new musical theatre? We need new musical theatre, especially in Chicago, because there are so many stories to be told that have not been told yet. As the world evolves we cannot keep recycling and reviving old musicals. We also need to continue telling stories that modern audiences can relate to.
What are you looking forward to working with FWD? I was so thrilled when I found FWD. I love new musical theatre works and I could not find any other companies in town who were completely devoted to them.
Hailing from Toledo, Ohio, MEGAN O'TOOLE is a senior Musical Theatre and Dance double major at Columbia College Chicago. This fall she choreographed the New Student Showcase, Heart & Music, directed by Ashton Byrum. She was recently seen in Columbia’s productions of Oklahoma! (swing/dance captain) and Into the Woods (Milky White/dance captain) and has been showcased in numerous dance performances.
When were you first introduced to musical theatre? The first musical I performed in was Cinderella; I was in second grade and part of the high school production’s chorus. But before this, my family and I went to see Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat pretty much every time it came to town.
What about musical theatre speaks to you? Musical theatre makes me happy. I think we all have an inclination to want to sing and dance, and that’s why musical theatre is so popular. Theatre is a very community-based art form and I love dancing and performing live because each audience will get something different out of it. I love being able to share that experience.
What is your favorite thing about Chicago? I love living in Chicago! One of my favorite things about the city is the lake; I love being by the water (even though it is generally too cold to want to get in.)
What is your favorite musical? The Drowsy Chaperone. The writing is so smart, and I love that it makes fun of other over-the-top musicals. It acknowledges that musical theatre is sort of silly and allows us to laugh at ourselves, but also speaks to the importance of theatre and the impact it can have on people’s lives.
What is your favorite social media outlet? Probably Instagram because I am a photo fanatic.
What are you looking forward to working with FWD? I am looking forward to getting to know the Chicago theatre community more and being exposed to new theatre. Since FWD is a new organization, I’m excited to get in on the ground floor and see what I can do to help. However, FWD is also already a star-studded company so I’m excited to meet everyone and get to work with these Chicago legends.