Kennesaw State University Department of
Theatre and Performance Studies presents
"BRING IT ON: THE MUSICAL"

November 7 –17, 2019

DIRECTED BY: JUSTIN ANDERSON
MUSIC DIRECTION BY: AMANDA WANSA MORGA
CHOREOGRAPHY BY: TIMOTHY ELLIS & JOSEPH PENDERGRAST
STORY BY: LIN MANUEL MIRANDA

Located at the Howard Logan Stillwell Theater

THE STORY

  • Bring-it-On Musical Poster
    Bring It On: The Musical is the musical adaptation of the hit 2000 cheerleading movie Bring It On. The story follows a high school cheerleader named Campbell Davis as she prepares for a National competitive cheer competition. Everything is going her way until she is suddenly transferred to a new high school before the start of the new school year. How will she figure out the true circumstance behind her mysterious transfer and overcome the challenge of a new school and life without her cheer squad?

    ABOUT BRING IT ON

    • What styles of dance are you incorporating into the show and why?

      I’m incorporating bits of jazz dance, club dance, modern, and ballet. I also enjoy infusing a bit of humor into my choreography.

      How are these styles used to highlight the rivalry between the opposing squads?

      As I choreograph Truman numbers, there is a cheer base to the choreography. The number I choreographed for Jackson High also makes a nod to the cheer technique while hoping to maintain their more music video style of dancing.

      Joseph’s experience with hip hop, pop and lock, etc. colors the choreography for Jackson High School, giving them a different atmosphere.

      What was the overall inspiration for your choreography? What impression are you hoping to leave on the audience?

      In the process of choreographing, my first inspiration comes from my reaction to the music and lyrics of the song. Preparing for Bring It On, I also watched a video of the Broadway production for a little guidance. In this show, I get to take a little from my experience as a college cheerleader and my passion for watching cheer competitions on television.

    • What styles of dance are you incorporating into the show and why?

      For Bring It On, I’ve been working primarily with hip-hop, a multidisciplinary art genre encompassing many distinct dance styles. In the show, you’ll see iconic old-school styles such as popping, locking and b-boying, and newer styles like waacking and tutting. These styles blend together to tell the story of a diverse crew, school, and art form.

      How are these styles used to highlight the rivalry between the opposing squads?

      Stylistically, the Jackson Crew is a long way from competitive cheer, with much less focus on spectacle and athleticism and more in style, grit, and individuality. Their disregard for the rules comes from a fierce determination to express and discover themselves, sometimes at the expense of a score from a panel of judges. 

      What was the overall inspiration for your choreography? What impression are you hoping to leave on the audience?

      The fundamental narrative of hip hop is taking one’s circumstances and channeling them into art, which allows one to transcend those circumstances. A group of kids trying to turn their passion for art into a better education epitomizes this ideal. 

    • A blueprint of the Bring-It-On stage.

      What is your process for painting the Bring It On set?

      First, I have the model that Ming Chen has designed for me, so I look at that. Then she hands me what is called paint elevations. Paint elevations have all the flats and the platforms laid out with all the exact colors she wants me to use. It is a big close up of what she wants with a lot of detail. Then my next step is to take all the color swatches and lining them up, sometimes mixing colors to get what I need. Finally, it's a lot of hands-on work. It is going to be a lot of measuring because Ming Chen is a very specific designer. When she designs something, it isn't freehand and it is all specific and intentional. 

      The color pallette for Bring-It-On.

      How do you and Ming collaborate? 

      So, with the basic designs I take a lot of information that Ming gives me, but when it comes to color Ming is very willing to listen to what I have to say and my opinions on that. When it comes to technique though, that is all on me. I have to figure out how to make things look how Ming wanted them to, using paint meant for bigger projects, like sets, rather than normal acrylic used for a set model. So, the process takes a lot of communication, trial and error. Myself and the production students will probably have to repaint things a few times, not because we got it wrong, but Ming may change her mind or it may not have turned out as good as we thought it would. That's all part of the design process, but I am here and I am ready for it!

      The Bring-It-On cheerleading logo.

    • Skylar costume design

      Truman HIgh School cheerleader costumes

      Truman High School costume ensemble

      Cameron costume design

      Jackson High School cheerleader costume.

      Jackson HIgh School ensemble costume.

    BRING IT ON TRAILERS

    THE MAKING OF BRING IT ON

    CAST AND CHARACTER INTERVIEWS

    THE STORY TELLERS

    • Justin Anderson HeadshotJustin Anderson has been a Part-Time Faculty Member at Kennesaw State University since 2012 teaching courses in acting and musical theatre. Previous guest directing credits at Kennesaw State University include Into the Woods and Falsettos. He also serves as Aurora Theatre’s Associate Artistic Director. His regional directorial work has earned him both popular and critical praise, along with 12 Atlanta Suzi Bass Award Nominations for Best Direction (Two-Time Winner for Les Misérablesin 2013 and The Bridges of Madison Countyin 2017, both at Aurora Theatre). He holds a B.A. in Theatre Arts from Campbell University and an M.A. in Theatre Studies from Regent University, with additional course study at Rutgers.

    • Amanda Wansa MorganAmanda Wansa Morgan is an Atlanta-based music director, composer, director, and actor who serves as Coordinator of Musical Theatre & Associate Professor at Kennesaw State University. At KSU, she teaches classes in musical theatre performance, voice, acting, and musical theatre history and literature. She directed the KSU productions of Ragtime, Heathers, and A Man of No Importance. Amanda has served on the faculty at The University of Mississippi (Ole Miss) and also as Director of Music Education at Charleston Stage, working as music director, director, sound designer, dialect coach, music arranger, and composer for various productions. Additionally, she has music directed at The Alliance Theatre, Six Flags Over Georgia, Atlanta Lyric Theater, Actor’s Express (2018 Suzi Bass Award for The Color Purple), Synchronicity Theater, Wallace Buice Theatre Company & Buicentennial Productions, Playhouse onthe Square, Post Playhouse, and Osceola Center for the Arts.

      www.amandawansamorgan.com

    • Timothy Ellis HeadshotTimothy Ellis is a Lecturer of Musical Theatre in the Dept. of Theatre & Performance Studies. He has appeared on Broadway in Annie Get Your Gun; the national tours of Show Boat and Best Little Whorehouse...; European tour of Evita; and the stages of regional theatres across the country. Direction/Choreography credits include Show Boat, A Chorus Line, Rocky Horror Show, A Simple Song, How I Became a Pirate, Song of the Living Dead, Debbie Does Dallas, Beehive, and Pulp – to name a few.

    • Joseph Pendergrast HeadshotJoseph Pendergrast's Atlanta choreography debut KSU credits include: A Spooky Night of Shakespeare, Into the Woods, Spring Awakening, and The Followers. Jo is currently playing The Monster in Found Stages' Frankenstein's Funeral. Other ATL credits include: Head Over Heels (Actor's Express), Alice Betweenand Ever After (Alliance Theatre), Hunchback of Notre Dame and In the Heights (Aurora and Theatrical Outfit), Newsies!, Mamma Mia!, Camelot, Mary Poppins, and The Two Kids That Blow Shit Up (Aurora), Lyle the Crocodile (Synchronicity), Footloose (Theatre Buford), Midsummer Night's Dream (Theatre Argo), Oliver!, Barnum! (Atlanta Lyric).

    • Lin Manuel Miranda headshot. Lin Manuel Miranda is a composer/lyricist/actor/producer most well-knownfor his Tony Award winning, hit musical, Hamilton: An American Musical. Miranda is Puerto Rican and grew up in the New York neighborhood Washington Heights. He attended Wesleyan University to study theatre. Beyond Hamilton, he has written the music and lyrics for In The Heights (2008), and co-wrote the music and lyrics for Bring It On (2012). Other work includes: Disney’s Moana, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and Mary Poppins Returns. He has won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, three Tony Awards, three Grammy Awards, and an Emmy Award.

      More about Lin Manuel Miranda

    • Jeff Whitty headshot. Jeff Whitty is an actor/playwright. He grew up in Oregon and attended the University of Oregon, then moved to New York and attended New York University’s graduate acting program. He wrote the libretto for the Tony Award winning musical Avenue Q (2003), and the libretto for Bring It On (2012), which premiered at the Alliance Theatre in Atlanta in 2011. Other works include: Head Over Heels, Tales of the City, and several acting credits. He won the 2004 Tony Award for Best Book of a Musical for Avenue Q.

    THE TEAM

    • Annaliese Bauer | Campbell

      L'Oréal Roaché | Danielle

      Fatimah Pounds | Nautica

      Jovahn Burroughs | Randall

      Alec Andrew | La Cienega

      Sully Brown | Steven

      Maggie Ewing | Kylar

      Danielle Lorentz | Eva

      David Wells | Twig

      Courtney McCullar | Bridget

      Amaris Johnson | Skylar

      Emmanuel Lyons | Cameron

      Ensemble
      Ra'Mya Aikens, Amani Clanton, Jalen Davidson, Abby Folds, Le'Kee Horton, Emma Lispcomb, Vanessa Lopez, Casandra Mayfield, Brooklyn Norrington, Lucas Pollitzer, Jillan Seibert, Matthew Weeks

      Stunt Cheerleaders
      Ann-Dupree Goodsell, Kirsten Hales, Bria King, Deja Malone, Gary Milloway, Malik Warner, 

      Legendary Vocalists
      Grayson Parker, Laura Reboulet

      Cross the Line Vocalists
      Alex Harding, Joey Mangum

    • Director: Justin Anderson

      Music Director: Amanda Wansa Morgan

      Associate Music Director: Johanna Stull

      Choreographer: Tim Ellis and Joseph Pendergrast

      Scenic Designer: Ming Chen

      Lighting Designer: Mary Parker

      Sound Designer: Jeremiah Davison

      Costume Designer: April Andrew

      Properties Master/Designer: Cody Russell

    BRING IT ON PHOTO GALLERY

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