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32 Bars Prepares for Student-RUn Show “A Chorus line”

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Maryland chapter.

Article by Jordan Budney

32 Bars, a student-run “singular sensation” at the University of Maryland is preparing for their production of “A Chorus Line,” set to open later this year. 

32 Bars works throughout the semester to perform full productions of musicals and cabarets. The musical performance troupe aims to promote inclusivity and provide opportunities to students by connecting them with the arts. 

“A Chorus Line” is about a casting call for hopeful Broadway dancers and breaks down the backstory, struggles and aspirations of the 16 main characters. Each character embodies a unique personality, told through dancing, singing and acting. 

Jayson Borenstein, a senior communications major and the president of 32 Bars, is the executive producer of “A Chorus Line.” Borenstein said this show was perfect for the students because of the diversity and flexibility of certain typecasts. 

“It’s really allowing us to focus on the core message of the show and not being distracted by outside things,” said Borenstein. 

Borenstein said there were struggles in managing to put on a show last semester throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, but it ended up having a successful turnout. Luckily, there are fewer restrictions this year, leading the group to expect sold-out shows. 

Gab Ryan, a junior theatre and journalism double major, is the choreographer for this production after formerly being the dance captain for last semester’s production of “Heathers.” With Ryan’s previous dance background, she has created new moves for each student that they feel most comfortable performing.

“I think like going into this, it’s a lot of thinking all about those different genres of dance and also kind of like how that relates differently to each character,” Ryan said.

Jack Patterson, a senior, plays Mike Costa, an Italian dancer who specializes in tap dancing. Patterson says this character resonates with him as he used to be a competitive dancer as a kid and traveled for about 12 years across the east coast.

“I’ve been going back and looking at a lot of like pictures from competitions, I’ve been reconnecting with a bunch of old friends that I used to compete with,” said Patterson. “I’m kind of wanting to just reconnect and to be able to kind of help myself prep for this.”  

In order to fund productions, 32 Bars holds fundraisers with nearby restaurants to benefit from a proportion of the proceeds. As a student-run organization, any profits are beneficial to licensing, sounds, props, costumes, and other aspects of production. 

If you are not looking to be on stage, but still want to support the cast, students are also welcome to join the stage crew or orchestra. The group offers opportunities to either work backstage in setup and props or play the score with other instruments. 

“A Chorus Line” is set to run Dec. 2, Dec. 3 and Dec. 4 at 7:00 p.m. in the Colony Ballroom at this university.