Northwestern is well-known for its theatre program, and Weinberg senior Max Rein said the talent of the individuals truly amazed him during his involvement with the Dolphin Show. Rein holds the show’s lead role, and believes the intense but exciting production process is what made it come together.
This year’s Dolphin Show features the musical version of Titanic, which depicts a unique take on the well-known shipwreck’s story. The musical depicts stories of different characters on the ship, while mainly following the path of Rein’s character: the ship’s builder, Thomas Andrews.
Although he originally wanted to join the cast because he loved the show’s music, Rein said the musical is a unique interpretation of the story and is quite different from the film.
“It’s funny just to see the little characters that sprout up in the different scenes,” Rein said. “In that sense Titanic is like a masterful behemoth musical that highlights different stories throughout, and it does it beautifully, by the amazing music of Maury Yeston.”
When the cast of Titanic was first determined last fall, Rein said most of the actors didn’t know each other very well. Through countless rehearsals, the group learned more about their characters’ personalities as they learned about each other individually.
During their first choreography rehearsal, cast members learned to sit, stand and walk as their characters’ separate social classes. Members of the first class walked a bit more proper than those of the second class and the third, in order to visually depict the historical part of the ship’s passengers.
“It was fun because we would just all walk around in a circle acting as our classes, and I got to interact with so many different people that I didn’t know,” Rein said. “We would just have normal conversations about random things while we were acting.”
Before any of the characters were cast, students had been working to plan out the show, from everything to set design to costuming to blocking the scenes. This dedication caused rehearsals to progress at a fast pace, and the group was able to run through the whole show 4 times before leaving for Winter Break. The extra time allowed cast members to really focus on their specific characters.
Rein admires his character because Thomas Andrews thinks through every possibility and detail, and takes pride his work. In the show, Andrews is constantly making suggestions that he thinks will benefit the ship and its passengers. He works his hardest at these improvements, even when others shoot down his ideas. Andrews’ greatest downfall is that he overthinks things, which Rein feels he can identify with.
“Because our pace was very fast in rehearsals, and we had such a huge cast, it gave me a lot more time to think about my character introspectively,” Rein said. “It’s nice to work on a show where we had everything blocked and staged very quickly, so I had more time to think about the details – just like Andrews.”
Although Rein is a Psychology major who has been involved several NU theatre productions, Titanic will be especially memorable to him because of the dedication students put into it. Rein said that in comparison to some of the seniors, he hasn’t been involved in creating the show for that long.
“This entire production is everything that they have put into their career for their senior year,” Rein said. “This is what they wanted to do since last year and to watch all of them beaming after the show has been put up for the first weekend – I will never forget that.”