Eastman Senior Andrew Pramuk, one of the main students behind “Hide the Moon: based on Salome,” grins in character as he poses for the show’s poster.

Courtesy of Rachael Sanguinetti

The Eastman School of Music has a long history of encouraging students to think outside the box and come up with new adaptations of old stories and music. It only makes sense, then, that Eastman students are a part of the inaugural Rochester Fringe Festival, created to celebrate the rich art and music scene in Rochester.

As part of the inaugural year of the Rochester Fringe Festival, Eastman senior Andrew Pramuk, along with a large group of Eastman students and staff, will present “Hide the Moon: based on Salome,” a new adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s classic play, “Salome.” This new version will include music ranging from that of Ella Fitzgerald to Björk, all arranged by Eastman junior Matthew Moisey.

The spark for the project came last spring when Pramuk, Moisey and Instructor of Opera, Alison Moritz, heard that a new festival was starting in Rochester and they immediately knew they wanted to contribute.

The trio worked diligently through the summer designing the staging, arranging music and gathering cast members and musicians. The project now involves 10 students in total. Four of the students run all of the production aspects of the show, and nine of the 10 are acting, singing, or both. Pramuk says it is a show of “infatuation, loathing, fear, lust, drama, music and movement.”

“This [project] has pushed people to experiment in areas of the arts that they haven’t worked in before,” Pramuk said. “There is a lot of new-ness happening here.”

The content of the show doesn’t fit under any of the normal categories of opera, cabaret or rock concert because it incorporates all of those genres and more. Each character in the play is introduced in their own musical style.

“The process of creating a show like this is one that constantly evolves and shifts,” Pranuk said. “It becomes something a little different than originally planned. It is crazy, fun and eye-opening, [and] has been a great learning experience for everyone involved.”

Many people have had to try out new roles as performers and crew members because of the size of the show which, according to Pramuk, has been part of the challenge.

This will be one of Pramuk’s  final projects as a senior at Eastman. He plans to attend graduate school in Germany next year.

Shows like this “get to the core of the theatre, treating the stage as a playground and the hard work as spontaneous play in order to achieve a common goal,” Pranuk remarked.

Innovation like this is not new at Eastman. There are always new music ensembles being formed and new compositions being written every day. Projects like “Hide the Moon: based on Salome” have the potential to give people the opportunity to think in new ways and bring the whole city of Rochester together through music and art.

“Hide the Moon: based on Salome” will be performed at Rochester Association of Performing Art (RAPA)’s East End Theatre on Saturday, Sept. 22 at 10:30 p.m.

Sanguinetti is a member of
the class of 2014.

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