Dean College students performing How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying

Big business meets big laughs in How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, the award-winning satire of big business that follows J. Pierrepont Finch as he climbs the corporate ladder from lowly window washer to high-powered executive.

The School of the Arts production of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying opens TONIGHT and runs through Sunday, April 3, 2022. Musical Theatre majors Avery Sullivan ’25 (Rosemary), Patrick McKinney ’24 (J. Pierrepont Finch), Olivia Amaral ’22 (Smitty) and Shaina Dunn ’22 (Miss Krumholtz/Dance Captain/Rosemary Understudy) shared more about the show and their experiences getting ready for opening night.

Q: What is your role? Tell us a little about what your role has involved and how you've been preparing for the show.

Avery (Rosemary): “I play the role of Rosemary Pilkington, a young secretary who falls madly in love with the main protagonist Finch. She is very sweet and only wishes for Finch's attention and stays on the sidelines, but is willing to do whatever she can for Finch's love.”

Patrick (Finch): “I play J. Pierrepont Finch. Preparing for this role took a lot of work and dedication. It is a very large role, and I put everything I had into bringing the character to life.”

Olivia (Smitty): “I play the role of Smitty in How to Succeed. She is Rosemary's best friend and serves as a guide and mentor to her. Smitty is such a cool character to play. She is very open and mature and tries to guide Rosemary in the right direction in terms of her relationship with Finch. Preparing for this show has been difficult but an extremely rewarding process. Balancing school and theatre is a challenge, but I pull through every day to do the thing that I love, and that's performing.”

Shaina (Miss Krumholtz/Dance Captain/Rosemary Understudy): “Taking on multiple roles for this show was a challenge, but a great experience! I learned my main track as Miss Krumholtz/Dance Ensemble, and then I also had to learn Rosemary's track. Being an understudy is one of the hardest jobs in the theatre in my opinion since you learn the track, but you don't physically run it unless you're needed to fill the position. In addition to these two responsibilities, I also was one of four dance captains for this production. We oversaw cleaning of all dance numbers, gave notes and feedback, worked closely with the director, and made changes to the choreography. This is my second time being a dance captain here at Dean and it is one of my favorite jobs in the theatre!” 

Q: What are you most excited for the audience to see?

Avery (Rosemary): “I am most excited for the audience to see all the huge and beautiful dance numbers. We have so many amazing dancers in our cast, and I cannot wait for everyone to see all the work they put in.”

Patrick (Finch): “I'm most excited for the audience to see all of the amazing work my fellow cast and crew and I put into the show.”

Olivia (Smitty): “I'm super excited for the audience to see the musical number “Cinderella Darling.” The ladies in this show are so incredible and hardworking. Being able to do this number with them, empowering Rosemary to keep on going, is such a pivotal moment in the show and I am so grateful to be doing it with these powerful women!”

Shaina (Miss Krumholtz/Dance Captain/Rosemary Understudy): “I am most excited for the audience to see all the dance numbers, specifically "Brotherhood Of Man." My fellow dance captains and I worked incredibly hard to make this number sharp, clean and a true showstopper. This show is also super funny, and I hope the audience enjoys this post-Golden Age classic.”

Q: What is your favorite part about participating in How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying?

Avery (Rosemary): “My favorite part about being in this amazing production is all the wonderful friendships I have made. This has been such a positive and beautiful experience and I'm going to cherish it for the rest of my life. Everyone is so kind and so talented and I cannot wait for opening night.”

Patrick (Finch): “Working with everyone made this experience memorable and enjoyable.”

Olivia (Smitty): “My favorite part about participating in this show is the fact that I get to create and bring this character to life. Smitty is such a spitfire gal and I hope y'all get your tickets! It's a blast!”

Shaina (Miss Krumholtz/Dance Captain/Rosemary Understudy): “My favorite part about participating in this show is getting to perform. The pandemic, unfortunately, took a lot of performing opportunities away from students in the arts and being able to dance on the Main Stage one last time is all I wanted to do in my final semester!”

The Dean College production of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying will take place in the Main Stage in the Campus Center at Dean College, 109 West Central Street, Franklin at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday, with matinee performances at 2:00 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

To learn more and purchase tickets, visit the Dean College Box Office.