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PTC’s Alter/Ego: A Bowie Project

By Joseph Chang, Staff Writer

“Alter/Ego, a Bowie Project” streamed from March 12-14 by the Post Theatre Company (PTC).  One might think it has much to do with the English singer and songwriter, David Bowie, which it does, but probably not how one would imagine.  

Sophomore musical theatre major, Quinn Doyle who sang “Moonage Daydream” said the play is not necessarily about David Bowie. 

 “We are taking a look at how gender identity and expression is examined in our current moment and in our modern generations, though fueled with a score by the Starman himself,” Doyle said.  

Senior musical theatre major Leigh Dillion explains the play is about more than just who David Bowie was.

“It’s about showing up, it’s about showing more than who we are, sometimes the side we don’t show to the world, it’s about trying new things, taking risks, exploration, having fun, being vulnerable, and how timeless Bowie’s music is.”

The project consists of, rather than characters, an ensemble of musicians expressing not only Bowie’s different personas but their own alter egos or alternate selves.

Like many of the cast, Dillon played a few versions of herself (in her case, two “roles”) as she explained,

 “One role that is me that I show to the world and the other being the one I wish I could be, it’s the more confident rock-star version of me.  There always feels like a duality within me, and in my solo, I was playing myself, just two personas like how Bowie has always done,” Dillion said.

The cast dedicated a lot of time to the project and were all proud of the final product.

“We had auditions and callbacks a week before rehearsals [which began] the week before classes started and continued rehearsals all the way through to the end of February,” Lee Metaxa, a senior musical theatre major, said.

But as the COVID pandemic is still very much present, there were a few obstacles that had to be overcome.

“This pandemic has made theatrical performance anything but easy, and learning the show’s material, as well as attending rehearsals from my bedroom every night, was challenging as much of the artistic process on my part was left for me to decide for myself,” Doyle said.

Of course, given the circumstance, not having an audience that could be seen, heard, or even felt was another hurdle that the actors had to overcome.  But the cast, with unrelenting positivity, only expressed gratitude.

“When I am able to perform in front of an audience live on stage again, the kinesthetic relationship and energy between us will be indescribable and so rewarding,” Doyle said.

Metaxa saw the circumstances as an opportunity to watch alongside her family and their reactions as well as a focus on the entirety of the performance and see everyone perform as she would not have been able to in an otherwise different circumstance.

Luckily, for most of the cast members, they were able to enjoy each other’s company in-person for the filming process while still practicing safe, social distancing, and mask protocols.

Doyle recalled, dancing with two masks in frigid cold temperatures and six-plus inches of snow.  Without a doubt, something he’ll always remember.

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