Auburn local and composer Sean Michael Flowers and his writing partner, Marya Spring Cordes, created, wrote and composed the music for the family-drama “Guarding Gold Street.”
“We were drawn to the idea that the work would be multi-generational in its focus and so began our research reading hundreds of actual letters written by American women spanning two centuries,” Flowers said.
Members of the theater department said they have been joyously anticipating opening night of the new show and auditions for “Guarding Gold Street” were a popular event in August.
“I wanted to audition for this production because I personally know the composer, Sean Michael Flowers, and I have sung his music before,” said Madeleine Koon, senior in musical theater.
“I knew that whatever he created was bound to give us as actors a real opportunity to show life as it is: the beauty in it, but also the hardship and struggle.”
Cast member Perry Jones, senior in theater, was also excited about having the opportunity to audition for Flowers’ show.
“I wanted the chance to share a story with the city and students of Auburn that I knew would be heartfelt and relevant,” Jones said.
“Guarding Gold Street,” opens Tuesday, Oct. 16, with performances each night through Saturday, Oct. 20 with a matinee Sunday, Oct. 21, tells the story of two sisters who return to their childhood home after a long absence, and the hardships they face upon their return.
“The show is about who we are,” Flowers said. “The ideas of family, home and the American Dream are with us–whether top-of-mind or bubbling underneath the skin.”
Koon said she believes the original production not only tells a powerful story, but will also appeal to the Auburn community.
“It will appeal to students, I believe, because this particular family dynamic will probably present itself to them either very soon with their grandparents or later in life with their parents,” Koon said.
Michael Flowers, who has written several musicals throughout his career and has received national funding for doing so, felt “Guarding Gold Street” was a story that must be shared.
“Music is the only universal language on this planet,” Flowers said.
“Watch the classics…hell, watch your favorite show, but get a recording from an international cast. If the show is any good, you will understand what is happening and be moved, whether it's in Korean or French. Being heard? That’s beyond powerful. That’s real. Connecting with people is how we survive. This is my way to do that.”
Flowers said he hopes “Guarding Gold Street” will continue to be performed well after the closing night in Auburn.
“A workshop is in the works with a professional theater, which may lead to a production in 2013,” Flowers said.
“We’ll see. In this business, you really never know. Show business is funny and great and God my stomach can turn. My future plans for ‘Guarding Gold Street?’ Continue to surround it with the love and support that I have found here at Auburn. She’ll find her legs and place in the world. I’m sure of it.”
More information, tickets, show times and upcoming productions can be found on the theater’s website at auburn.edu/theatre.