By Sophia Koval ’21
Edward Lu is a ‘21 from Andover, Mass., and is one of the few freshman cast members in this term’s mainstage production of Cabaret. He is also a Dartmouth Aire. I sat down with him to talk about his experience in his first musical on campus.
What is your role in Cabaret?
My role in Cabaret is Bobby/ensemble. He is just one of the ensemble members but he has a few speaking parts (which I think is pretty cool – I get nine whole lines), and I get to kiss the lead.
What performance experience did you have before coming to Dartmouth?
Before I came to Dartmouth, I only did musical theater for the last two years of high school, so starting my junior year. After I started doing musical theater, I did as many productions as I could, so I ended up doing approximately six productions, which I would say is a good amount. Previous to my musical theater experience, I had done operas before, which is kinda cool, but they were abridged versions and they were all-child casts.
As a freshman in the cast, how do you think the experience is different or special for you?
I think for one thing, as a freshman, you go in not knowing anyone. I feel like it’s a little weird because everybody else has already made their friend groups from previous years. There are only two freshmen [in the cast of Cabaret], and the other freshman are in the Sings with a lot of the rest of the cast, so he kinda knows all of them. Sometimes I feel a little left out of things just because I, to be honest, don’t know everyone’s names. …You show up to rehearsals, you get your work done, then you go; you don’t really hang out with any of the cast. Other than that, I think it’s pretty cool to have gotten in as a freshman. My goal for this year was to have the director know my name, and she knows it now, which I think is pretty cool.
What’s the best part about being in Cabaret?
I feel that Cabaret is a really good show. First of all, the message is great. I think it’s very relevant to the political state of the US right now. It’s basically about not being able to recognize an evil before it’s too late. That’s on a wider scale of why I like Cabaret. For the show itself, I think it’s great because ensemble members basically just get to go on and off stage whenever they want (there aren’t a lot of stage directions). We get to [act as if we] do drugs and have sex and it’s amazing. You wouldn’t think that not seeing an evil and having sex has anything to do with each other, but it does! You’ll find out if you come see the show.
What advice would you give to other freshmen who are interested in getting involved with performance on campus?
I would say definitely go for it, as long as you know that you’re able to handle it. I know, since I’m in both a capella and the musical, it’s starting to be a lot. Even though I was warned against it, I still chose to do it, which is fine. I’m still handling things OK, I suppose. But I wanted to get a job this term so I could pay some of my work-study tuition, and I’m not able to do that this term because I’m just so busy and don’t have any free time to do that.
Is there anything else you’d like to share?
Come see Cabaret!
Cabaret will be playing at the Hop November 3 through 12.
About the contributor
Sophia Koval is a ‘21 from Rockville, Maryland, who is interested in studying biology and is a member of Arts Ambassadors. She loves the performing arts and looks forward to seeing many more productions at Dartmouth.