By Megan Raab
The Broncway, Rider’s student-run theater production club, premiered their second show of the semester from April 19 to 21. “When You Have No Class” was a play directed by freshman musical theater major TJ Rumer.
The show, written by William Griggs, is “a hysterical dive into the lives of six teachers and their antics.” It was chosen for the Sunwall Award and has been performed across the country. Rumer’s production featured the acting talents of junior musical theater major Dan Starnes, freshmen musical theater majors Damon Vincenty, Sam Cassidy, Mark Quackenbush and Josh Stein and freshman acting major Christianah Akinsanmi, along with sophomore technical theater major Colin Monahan on lights and sound.
Rumer decided to take on the task of directing this show because he wanted to use his own voice to create a legacy.
“I wanted to direct because I felt pent up and like I had something to say and something to express but I could never fully get my word out there,” he said.
Not only was he able to use his own voice throughout the direction of this production, but he encouraged the actors to bring theirs to the table, as well.
“The message I wanted my actors and this show to convey from day one was to make sure you leave a legacy behind that you can be proud of. Make it one of joy, fondness, and make friends along the way,” Rumer said. “All the while, I wanted to have a conversation about how life is not always black and white and that there can be many grays in your pursuit of legacy.”
The show featured Starnes in the role of Ben Steinmets, describing his character as a “cynical, jaded, 50 year-old history teacher who goes through wives like underwear.”
His interest in participating in “When You Have No Class” was peaked after discussing the project with Rumer in their satire and comedy class.
Starnes’ favorite part of the shows was bonding with the cast.
“We all had a great sense of play and we made each other laugh all the time,” Starnes said.
Rumer’s directing skills encouraged a great, playful environment that was present through the rehearsal and performance process, according to Starnes.
“TJ [Rumer] created a great environment for laughs and creativity while also ensuring we were serious about our work,” Starnes said.
A familiar face on The Broncway, Starnes is choosing to continue his involvement both for the fun of the productions and for the experience he gets through them.
“I love that The Broncway allows students to be creative. It really benefits the students by allowing us to put in practice everything we are taught in our classes,” into practice Starnes said.
The Broncway has one more show coming up this semester, which is a play called “Butterscotch,” directed by sophomore musical theater major Dylan Erdelyi. The show is free and open to the public, but tickets must be reserved beforehand at butterscotchtheplay.com. It will be running from April 26 to 28.