Senior Playwright Completes Musical

Ali White

Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock.

As the clock moved minute by minute during her final exam, senior musical theater major Megan Cavanaugh experienced what so many other students endure during finals — writer’s block.

Cavanaugh was having an impossible time completing her playwriting final last semester. Then the light bulb went on, and lightning struck.

Now, five months later, what was once writer’s block is two weeks away from a completed student musical theatre production.

Cavanaugh’s polished musical masterpiece will be performed free at 7 p.m. April 25 and 27 in the basement of the Music and Speech building.

“Hope Frankly” is a non-biographical, dramatic comedy focused on human relationships, Cavanaugh said.

“It all started with the conversation song I wrote on my computer,” she said. “Then I developed the characters over time through a variety of ways. Even though it’s not biographical, I’ve still encountered all of these emotions or situations in one way or another.”

Cavanaugh does not have an acting role in this production, but she directs, blocks with the characters and plays the instruments at practices.

The plot of “Hope Frankly” is based on the life of a modern girl who meets a man and the progression of their romance.

“It’s retrospective of two people in a relationship and how they handle things,” said Justin Gentry, sophomore musical theater major and male lead in the play.

“The father also has a big role tying her (the female lead) back to where she came from,” he said.

Gentry said he is proud to be associated with this show because of the collaborative effort with the crew and Cavanaugh’s “undeniable talent.”

“When I first read the music Meg wrote, I fell in love with it because the songs are so amazing,” Gentry said. “Now, as the practices have gone on, everyone is really helping Meg out with the development process.

“She really opens herself up to allow others to participate in every area she’s focusing on, and with all of us working together, I think it’s going to turn out great,” Gentry said.

Cavanaugh said she feels touched so many people have dedicated themselves to her musical and likes opening herself up to the input of others.

“The thing about this show you won’t see in others is a complete dedication to originality and creativity,” Cavanaugh said. “The people working on this show with me are not getting paychecks. They are doing it for their love of theater.”

Contact College of Communication and Information reporter Ali White at [email protected].