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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Musical to satirize life in Corps

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Photo by Provided by MSC Box Office

“Corps of Cadets: The Musical” will take place May 1 in Rudder Auditorium.

Experiences in the Corps of Cadets served as the basis for a musical comedy for cadet Robert Bannon.

 

As a partnership with The Mugdown — a student-run online satirical newspaper — the musical comedy will be about Bannon’s growth, mistakes and personal experiences as a cadet. Auditions for the musical talent and the cast to perform songs such as ‘Khaki Love Makes Me So Blue,’ ‘Get Me to the Quad on Time’ and ‘I Cogitated a Cogitation’ have taken place in the MSC last weekend and will continue Monday.

 

Bannon, creator of the musical and accounting senior, said he originally came up with the idea as a joke. But after a satirical social media post about the show gained student support and The Mugdown agreed to handle the logistics, Bannon decided to transform “Corps of Cadets: The Musical” from script to reality.

 

“I took the storyline of Les Misérables, and I substituted it with all of these Corps terms and made this big, elaborate Facebook post and people thought it was real,” Bannon said, regarding his original joke to make a Corps musical.

 

Bannon, who wrote the script and will direct the production, said students began to message him about the post to see if “Corps of Cadets: The Musical” was real. Bannon assured them that his post was satirical, but began to think more about an actual musical as time went on.

 

Theo Creager, Bannon’s roommate and fellow accounting senior, helped Bannon come up with some of the jokes for the script. Creager said once the idea got into Bannon’s head, the planning stage began.

 

“It was funny because Rob is an interesting guy, and when he does something, he goes 110 percent on it,” Creager said. “Once he decided to [do the musical], he wrote the script … Every time he was at his desk he was working on the script.”

 

Bannon said that his friends helped out with the creative process of writing the musical.

 

“I would bounce ideas off my friends,” Bannon said. “We’d make all sorts of jokes and sing silly songs and substitute them with Corps terms. And then it really started to develop and flesh out a story with characters and plotline and I reached out to The Mugdown.”

 

Along with logistics, Bannon said The Mugdown offered to handle the musical’s scheduling, hiring and casting. However, Creager said Bannon wanted to do a lot of the legwork on his own.

 

“It’s really impressive that he was able to turn out this story all by himself,” Creager said. “He had some creative input from other people and other people would make suggestions but he was the one who was really doing everything.”

 

Creager said his biggest hand in creating the musical was writing a rap song for the script.

 

“I like writing rap, I’m not like some aspiring rapping dude but I enjoy writing it,” Creager said. “So that has been the really exciting thing for me because I guess I’ve sort of been practicing that kind of thing for awhile, just making rhymes about my friends and getting a little bit of practice and now the fact that it’s actually being applied to something that is actually going to be a real thing that people see is really exciting.”

 

Bannon said that his biggest hope for the musical is that they will find a hidden talent during auditions.

 

“I had people approach me and say ‘You know, I have a secret talent for singing or for playing guitar and I don’t really go around telling people about it, I just kind of practice on my own. Ever since I saw this musical idea, I thought this was awesome, this was my opportunity to really shine and show people what I can do,’” Bannon said. “That’s beautiful in a way and really powerful, and just made me realize that even a silly idea can still be really beautiful.”

 

Creager said they have a lot of talent in the musical.

 

“In college we’re drawing on the 50,000 or more student population . . . the people who are really passionate about this kind of thing and really good at what they do are coming forward and trying out and those are the people who are going to be cast and that’s really an amazing thing,” Creager said.

 

Producer Benjamin Dierker, public administration graduate student, said that auditions were fantastic, despite there being a number of people who weren’t able to audition due to scheduling conflicts. Although callbacks will occur throughout the week and the actual cast won’t be named until Friday, Dierker said that he is confident there will be freshmen through seniors in the musical.

 

“There are some singers out there,” Dierker said. “And the most common thing we saw on our application was, and almost everyone said this, ‘I did theatre in high school and I just haven’t had chance to do anything in college.’ And that’s such a shame and so all of these kids are coming out of the woodworks to show off their talent and it’s fantastic.”

 

The show will take place in Rudder Auditorium on May 1, with the proceeds going to to Aggie Rings for Veterans and the Lone Survivor Foundation. In regards to these donations, Bannon said he chose them because he has a personal connection to the Lone Survivor Foundation.

 

“I personally selected these charities based off my love for the veteran community,” Bannon said. “I myself am an Army contract. My family has generations of military veterans. So, in my heart, I have deep respect and love for the veteran community.”

 

Bannon said the Lone Survivor Foundation, started by former U.S. Navy Seal Marcus Luttrell, assists veterans with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

 

“They design these retreats where the veterans can go with their families and receive nurturing and help that they need in order that they can return some normalcy to their lives to ease the suffering,” Bannon said. “It’s proven to be a very successful program.”

 

Dierker said that they hope to fill the seats at both of the productions as the bulk of their donation will be ticket sales, although they also hope for independent donations.

 

“We’d like to bring awareness to those two things, that’s a big focus of this,” Dierker said. “The money we donate to [Lone Survivor Foundation] would cover one veteran to go for a weekend retreat for food and board and all that stuff, so the veteran just gets to go and experience the camaraderie, and in some cases it’s therapy or counseling, things like that, but an escape sort of and it’s totally free. So, ultimately, we’d like to donate enough money that we could independently fund five or six veterans at retreats.”

 

Bannon said the veteran community loves humor and entertainment, and that he also finds musicals to be a source of great entertainment.

 

“They truly bring happiness to me and that’s what I’m hoping to do with this, to bring laughter and unity to the A&M community,” Bannon said. “Yes, we may be laughing at ourselves but we do some really ridiculous things as Aggies that deserve to be made fun of.”

 

Brendan Devany, international studies sophomore and cadet, said he thinks the show will do well even though members of the Corps will have differing opinions.

 

“I think it should have mixed opinions,” Brendan said. “There’s always going to be someone who either is really against the Corps or a Corps person who is really against the performance. I personally think it will be funny. I’m going to buy tickets to go see it.”

       

Creager said attendees of the musical can look forward to a Texas A&M humor and possible cameos from faculty members and cadets.

 

“It’s going to be a memorable experience,” Creager said.

 

Tickets are currently on sale at the MSC Box Office and are $7 for students.

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