Rebecca Feber, left, and Lizzi Sunne go over a scene for Feber’s musical, which Feber wrote and directed. Performances of the show will take place July 24-25.

Rebecca Feber, left, and Lizzi Sunne go over a scene for Feber’s musical, which Feber wrote and directed. Performances of the show will take place July 24-25.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes


Huntington Woods resident writes, directs, stars in musical created during pandemic

By: Mike Koury | Woodward Talk | Published July 14, 2021

 While the actors rehearse, music director Sofia Bahnmueller follows the lines in the script from the control room.

While the actors rehearse, music director Sofia Bahnmueller follows the lines in the script from the control room.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes

Advertisement

BERKLEY/HUNTINGTON WOODS — Exactly one year ago, Rebecca Feber began working on a musical in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Some 365 days later, Feber, 18, will present “Biology the Musical” at the Ridgedale Players community theater in Troy, 205 W. Long Lake Road, July 24-25.

A resident of Huntington Woods and recent graduate of Berkley High School, Feber found herself bored during quarantine, but it was a conversation with a family friend and BHS math teacher about Isaac Newton that led her to create the musical.

“I’ve always enjoyed writing and making stories,” she said. “I’ve always had a passion for theater and making stories, and I’ve had the idea in the back of my head since the 10th grade when I actually took the class. Just having the time during quarantine actually allowed me to make something.”

Feber’s musical is about a group of high school students and their teacher in an AP Biology class in the lead-up to an exam.

Around the fall, Feber started talking to her friend, Sofia Bahnmueller, about her show. Bahnmueller, a member of the BHS orchestra and marching band, offered to help out with the musical’s songs.

Now the production’s musical director, Bahnmueller created 10 songs over the course of four months. She said the process was very hard because of the scientific terms involved and fitting them into the song’s lyrics.

“I wanted every song to be a somewhat different genre,” she said. “I got to explore a lot with more dissonant chords and different chord progressions, and that was fun for me, but I never worked on music with a very strict deadline like this before, so it was also really stressful.”

It was when Bahnmueller joined the creation process that Feber felt the musical was starting to become a real thing.

“Before that, it really wasn’t anything, but when she started helping me, we finalized what we wanted, like, the story to be about and what songs we’re going to have,” Feber said.

Feber was able to get Ridgedale, where she’s performed since she was 3, to host the show. In-person rehearsals have been going on for the last couple of months. Bahnmueller, also of Huntington Woods, has been leading the cast of primarily teenagers to learn their songs and harmonies.

“I think they’re doing a good job,” she said. “We need to definitely work a little bit more on the harmonies, but so far I’ve been (happy) with what they’ve done.”

In addition to writing and directing, Feber is one of the stars of the musical. Taking on all that responsibility has been a lot of work for her, but Feber credited the cast and crew for helping her along the way.

“I’m definitely really nervous, but we’re pretty far along,” she said. “We’ve already run the show a couple of times, so I think we’ll definitely be ready by the show time. I’m definitely getting nervous and really excited, because I never thought this would actually happen. Like think back to last year, if you told me that we would be performing the show a year from that date, I would not have believed you.”

There will be performances at 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. on Saturday, July 24, and Sunday, July 25, respectively. The show is scheduled to be outdoors and attendees are asked to bring their own chairs. Tickets cost $15 and can be purchased at www.ridgedaleplayers.com/tickets.

Advertisement