Andrew Jackson Gets a Bloody Makeover
Coming to the Frostburg State University theatrical stage is the upbeat production of Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson. Directed by Darrell Rushton with musical direction by Chris McCabe, the production is based off of Andrew Jackson’s background, both personal and political and presents Jackson in a way that audiences will enjoy and remember.
According to the theater department, the production follows the seventh president of the United States as he grows into a political leader. The production turns his political and military career, fighting against the British and defeating the Native Americans, into a rock-style show that the audience will enjoy, complete with musical numbers, humor, and yes even fight scenes. The theater department also states that it examines the populist movement of “Old Hickory” while drawing comparison to today’s society, which will appeal to history lovers.
Nora Grider, a cast member, describes the production as, “loosely based on Andrew Jackson’s public life and his appointment of governor as Florida and to his rise to his presidency and then the presidency itself. It mostly focuses on how he handled the forced relocation of the Native American people.”
Starring as a guest as Andrew Jackson in the production is Frostburg State University alum Matt Merchant. He returns to Frostburg from Los Angeles, California to act with the theater students in this tremendous production. And the theater department and the students are very happy to have him acting next to them. Director Rushton states that Merchant was “amazing to work with.”
Rushton went on to state, “His professional background adds to the show in all the fight scenes and he has been incredibly giving in his time and experience working with all the students in the show; helping them to learn to work with the microphones and always had great ideas to help with the scene work. Frostburg State University students are incredibly talented, and the only real difference between working with our students and him [Merchant] is Matt makes tremendous choices and makes them quickly. He was able to create his role in a week.”
Grider, enjoyed working with Merchant on the production. She stated it was, “rewarding to work with him. It’s nice to see someone who has left FSU and to have this great career. He’s spent a lot of hours and he’s been really great working with us. He’s always been happy answering our questions and giving us that real world experience.”
The production’s rock-concert style consists of a cast of 17 with four live rock band members. Many of the cast members are graduating in May, so this is their last bravo before they leave. Rushton says, “Several of the graduating students are ecstatic that this show is their last show, and as sad as they are that Frostburg State University will no longer be their home, they are so happy that this fantastic show is their swan song!”
Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson premiered Friday, Apr. 18 at 7:30 p.m. with a matinee on Saturday at 2 p.m. It will also be showing the following weekend, Thursday, Apr. 24, Friday, Apr. 25, and Saturday, Apr. 26 at 7:30 p.m.
Tickets are $12 for general admission and $6 for Frostburg State University students and can be booked through the Theatre and Dance box office.