Western casts faculty member in “Drowsy”
By Brian Duskey
September 10, 2013
It’s official. The cast of Western’s production of
The Drowsy Chaperone will get to work with a professional.
This past week, Western’s department of Theatre & Cinema held audition for their upcoming production of the musical The Drowsy Chaperone, but they had already cast the title-role of the show.
It was Kathleen Holeman, who also works under the music department for Jazz vocal and piano studies.
Holeman has been teaching part-time at Western for the past five years, teaching Jazz ensemble as well as piano and vocal lessons.
She does more than teach, though. She also works as a Jazz musician in Kansas City, sometimes performing solo work and often singing in front of a big band.
She performs at different bars, restaurants, and even private parties.
Holeman, who hasn’t done a theatre show in 20 years, is incredibly excited to get started on the show.
“It’s great writing, the music is beautiful,” Holeman said. “There are so many beautiful tongue-in-cheek and sarcasm sentences falling in-and-out everywhere. It’s just perfect.”
She claims to have been in love with the piece ever since she was notified of her casting. “I laughed ‘till I cried,” Holeman said, in reference to her reaction to the songs.
She has an infatuation with some of the characters in the show, not just her own. “These two fellas, who are supposed to be mobsters, sure do remind you of two out of the three stooges. It’s just a riot,” Holeman said.
Director of the show and assistant professor of Theatre & Cinema, Tee Quillin, thinks she is perfect for the role.
“The role itself is right up her ally,” Quillin said. “I think she is going to be fantastic. She has a phenomenal voice.”
Holeman doesn’t see the role being a huge adjustment from her normal gigs. She usually hamming it up on stage and displaying several emotions, so she doesn’t see the role to be too far from her experience.
She has already dug into the depths on the character and began to realize how fun it is going to be to play her on the Potter stage.
“[She’s] this gal who is a bit more ‘mature’ and she has lots of incredible wisdom to share, but it might not be about what you wanted to talk about,” Holeman said.
Quillin believes that she is going to have a ball with the role, as she gets to be drunk (in character) most of the show.
“The drowsy chaperone is really just a polite way of saying she’s the drunk chaperone,” Quillin said.
Holeman is also very much looking forward to working with students during the production. She hopes to bring an influence into their education.
“They are great at what they do and I intend to be not a problem,” Holeman said. “I love working with students in the day-time here, why I wouldn’t I want to here?”
Quillin is very strong on her professionalism and thinks it will largely benefit the students.
“It’s always good for the students to see that and be a part of it,” Quillin said.
Both Holeman and Quillin are looking forward to the production, which runs from November 21-December 8, but Quillin is especially adamant about how much the audience is going to love her.
“It’ll just be a treat for the audience.”