Original musical makes premiere on the local stage

CAST MEMBERS for “Trial by Media” will present a world premiere presentation of the play penned by Heather Nordenbrock. The musical will be staged at the Rogers Theater Thursday-Sunday. Cast members include (seated from left) Nordenbrock, Ashley Nowicki, (back from left) Karl W. Heidemann, Garrison Benson, Anna May Kohler and Baylee Lijewski. (Photo by Richard Lamb)

A world premiere theatre production is coming to the stage at the Rogers Theater this weekend. The Rogers City Community Theatre (RCCT) will stage the musical “Trial by Media,” with book, lyrics and music by Heather L. Nordenbrock. Performances will take place Thursday-Saturday, at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, at 2 p.m.
The cast includes Ashley Nowicki as Marsha/Corie Alayna, Heather Nordenbrock as Muriel, Karl W. Heidemann as Gipper, Anna May Kohler as Lara, Baylee Lijewski as Juno and Garrison Benson as Lusauf.
“Trial by Media” is an updated adaptation of Shakespeare’s “Coriolanus” that explores the effects of media, parental pressure, and addiction on a young and emerging pop star. The show’s message relates to the impact the media has on perceptions, and how the media can be manipulated and manipulative.
There are further themes of generational trauma and the impact of misguided parental pressure, as well as prescription medication addiction. Other messages include finding hope and support in unsuspecting places and the importance of staying in the here and now and appreciating and loving the people you have while they are still here.
The production, was created by Nordenbrock as the thesis project for her Master of Arts in Theatre Arts degree from Eastern Michigan University (EMU). Members of her thesis committee were Lee Stille and Pirooz Aghssa. Additional workshopping opportunities were facilitated by Phil Simmons, also from EMU.
Nordenbrock said she is, “excited and terrified, but also grateful for this opportunity.”
The RCCT production is directed by Pennie Hoeft, with musical direction by Jean Brown-Baker. Technical director and set designer is Karl W. Heidemann. The head of marketing is Katy Carignan.
Tickets are available at the door and are $14 for adults and $6 for students. The show is rated PG-13 due to mild language and adult situations. For more information, go to rcctheatre.org or call 1-708-808-RCCT (7228).