Playing Woods is a Dream Come True

Elle Woods and friends are about to take UMD Theater’s main stage on Dec. 4. Get ready for the bubbly blonde and the color pink to take over Harvard University in a musical production of the movie. Senior Elise Benson plays Elle Woods. For Benson, playing Woods is a dream come true.

Benson’s mom encouraged her to make her vision of being Elle Woods a possibility. As soon as Benson knew that the theater department was thinking about doing the musical, her mother went out and bought her the musical script so that she could practice.

“It has always kind of been my dream role,” Benson said.

According to director Ann Bergeron, the story behind the musical is foundationally the same as the movie everyone knows.

Initially, Bergeron was unsure if she wanted to direct the play after watching the movie. But after reading the musical versions script, she decided it was an opportunity she couldn’t pass up.

“You fall in love when you least expect it and with this musical, that’s what happened to me,” Bergeron said.

The cast rehearses about 26 hours a week.

“This particular company has been super enthusiastic and just hyped about the show,” Bergeron said.

The cast is made up of talented individuals with all five leads played by seniors.

Colleen Lafeber — who plays Elle’s best friend Paulette — explains why her character is so crucial to the play.

“Paulette is really the first one to see Elle’s heart and Emmett is the first person to see Elle’s mind,” Lafeber said.

Jayson Speters, who plays Elle’s mentor and later boyfriend Emmett, explains why Emmett is also an extremely important character.

“Emmett is really the first person who shows Elle how smart she can be,” Speters said.

Speters also talked about the ensemble in the play and how important they are to the success of the musical.

“Truly there has never been an ensemble so strong,” Speters said. Joslyn Danielson, part of the ensemble, explained what an ensemble is and how they participate in the musical.

“Basically, as part of the ensemble, you fill any smaller role that needs to be filled,” Danielson said.

Danielson also said that as part of an ensemble in a musical you fill smaller roles and are often in larger dance numbers.

“Even if you didn’t like the movie, you will like the musical,” Danielson said. “Get your tickets now because tickets will sell out.”

Speters couldn’t agree more.

“It is one of the funnest evenings that you’ll have at UMD theaters,” Speters said.

Tickets are $6 for UMD students. The show runs from December 4-6 and 10-13.

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