The MU students are expected to work as a team, to move all their own gear, to help in script writing.
"We give you an edge," Shepperd said, adding that 80 percent of the alums are working in the industry. And, consider that there is no tuition; MU crew can also garner high school credit, college scholarships and a paid summer job.
The challenge of the MU is to raise awareness to social issues facing today's youth. This of course has evolved since 1976. The MU's Director of Operations Sarah Orr said, "We update scripts every year depending on cast and if new issues come up on the topic."
The topics range from the racially charged "From the Back of the Bus," to inner city gang violence with its "Angels with Broken Wings Starting all over Again," to a teen's eye view on the local drug scene, "Drug Us," to gambling issues, "Don't bet on it." Other topics include recovery from addiction, underage drinking, abusive versus healthy relationships, mental health and safe sex.
A MU show entertains, makes its audience think and raises awareness on social issues. Shepperd said, "Larry and Linda," is a show about gay teens pointing out obstacles in schools in a musical theatre format with some humor, while not offending anyone. Not exactly an easy task, and the work begins in the auditioning process. Are you brave enough to tackle this subject he asks?
Auditions are underway - to apply call 478-UNIT. To book a show call 478-8648 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Performances are $600, please allow six weeks before performance. Walt Shepperd, a Colgate Graduate, is also the senior editor of the Syracuse City Eagle.