Back in the Day
In fall 1975, four undergraduates with love for performing and Broadway musicals launched a new campus organization called the Original Cast, a Broadway revue troupe. That first year, they had to find their own funding, run auditions, find places to rehearse and perform, and put on a show. Now 35 years later, the group started by Laura Jansen (BA’78), Ron Mayers (BA’77), Phil Walker (BA’77) and Margie Womer (BSN’79) continues its long run as one of Vanderbilt’s most popular performing arts groups. Student developed, led, directed, produced, choreographed, promoted and staged, the Original Cast performs every semester to audience acclaim. Each production showcases 16 to 18 cast members singing and performing numbers from different Broadway and movie musicals. Most students stay involved for several years, and alumni of the close-knit performance troupe stay in touch, attending shows and organizing reunions. Over the years, the Original Cast has performed at school and alumni functions, on cruises and on tours across Europe and the West Coast.
(1) Vanderbilt Alumnus, Winter 1978, vol. 63, no. 2
(2) 1976 Commodore
(3) Vanderbilt Hustler, vol. 88, no. 26
(4) Vanderbilt Hustler, vol. 119, no. 61
(5) Cast photo 2010
(6) 30th anniversary program
(7) Ticket for 2008 performance of Catching Fire
(8) Vanderbilt Hustler, vol. 87, no. 12.
(9) Promotional album jacket
photo credit: Images 1–4 reproduced courtesy of Vanderbilt University Special Collections and Archives; 6–9 provided courtesy of Meghan Backes, BA’08, and Christen Sottolano, BA’09.