WILLIAMSBURG — AIDA, an upcoming musical that will be performed by the local Community Theatre group Williamsburg Players, will premier at the James-York Playhouse on June 2 and will run until June 18.
“It’s actually based on an opera,” said AIDA Director Dana Margulies Cauthen in an interview with WYDaily. “Aida is a Nubian princess and she’s captured by an Egyptian soldier, a captain, who is supposed to be marrying the Egyptian princess. It ends up being a sort of tragic love triangle.”
Around seven weeks after the initial auditions, the musical is ready to be shown to the public. AIDA is one of the biggest musical performances put together by the Williamsburg Players since the start of the COVID-19 Pandemic in 2020.
Around 24 cast members are involved in the musical. They have been rehearsing in the evenings, five days a week, Sunday-Thursday, since the auditions.
“Being a community theatre, everybody has a day job,” said Cauthen. “This is our passion and how we choose to spend our free time. When you look at it that way, it’s pretty remarkable that you can get that many people who are willing to give you seven weeks of their life.”
The lyrics and the music in the show were written by Elton John and Tim Rice. The original music has been scored for 18 instruments.
“We’ve assembled some of the most amazing voices that you will ever hear in a community theatre production,” said Cauthen. “It’s absolutely breathtaking and I’m in love with this cast. They’re amazing, and that, as a director, is sometimes the thing that scares you. Will I be able to cast this? Will I get the right people for the roles? Sometimes you get lucky.”
Cauthen first encountered AIDA when she saw the show on Broadway in New York. She was teaching high school drama at the time and the class traveled north to see performances.
“It [AIDA] was amazing and just absolutely unbelievable to watch on stage,” said Cauthen. “So it’s always been one of my favorites. I actually choreographed it twice before this. Once at Bruton High School, when they did it, and Little Theatre at Virginia Beach. It’s always been one of my favorites.”
The Williamsburg Players’ performances will take place:
- Thursday (June 2, June 9, June 16) – 8 p.m.
- Friday (June 3, June 10, June 17) – 8 p.m.
- Saturday (June 4, June 11, June 18) – 2 p.m., 8 p.m.