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The Easter Parade' world premiere

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On Friday, Dec. 7, at 7 p.m., the doors at Husson University's Gracie Theater opened for the world premiere of Laura Emack's "The Easter Parade," performed and produced by the Husson University Theater (HUT).

Michael Churchill, New England School of Communications student, directed this play and has been part of HUT since 2009. His favorite part of this play was being able to "watch people who are normally pretty reserved just go wild and do some really funny things."

The turnout for the first night and world premiere was close to 50 or 60 people. The play is a comedy that takes place about 10 years ago in the office of an accounting firm known as McCann and Silway, CPAs. The play takes place after the Enron scandal; to ensure profit, McCann and Silway must fire loose employees who are not needed after tax season. This creates a parade of newly unemployed CPAs, including main characters Lucy and Mark. Lucy does all that she can to save her job, while Mark decides to find a (hilarious) way to get back at his employers.

Laura Emack came to the world premiere of her play and was very pleased with what she saw. This was the first time that one of her plays has been produced in its entirety. She discussed her inspiration and motivation to write 'The Easter Parade.'

"I worked for a CPA firm, and at the time I finished this play I had finished something that involved a lot of historical research,' she said. 'I decided that I wanted to write something that involved absolute zero research, so I set it in a place most familiar to me. It was right after the Enron/Anderson scandal, and we were all kind of thinking about what had happened in our profession."

Her husband suggested that she send her play to Husson University. "Geri wrote back to me and said that they were really just a presenting institution at this point and they couldn't really produce a show, but she mentioned there was a student group. So a couple days later I put together a cover letter and sent it to the student group and this is the play. I have quite a few plays, but this is the one I thought was most suitable for business students at Husson.

She enjoyed the way that the play came out. She expressed how amazed she was that they were able to cast it out of solely students especially because "there are really only a couple parts that are actually young people."

Emack believes that the play may be even more relevant now than it was when she wrote it.

"I think of it kind of as a thoughtful workplace comedy,' she said. 'I hope [the audience] would enjoy it and the performance but also think a little bit about what it's like to get fired. At the time I wrote it I think that the work place was a little bit kinder and gentler than it is today, and it is so much more common today that people are being let go. I feel the stakes are higher today than when I wrote it, and in some ways it kind of feels more relevant even though I did write it almost 10 years ago."

She expressed her gratitude and how humbled she felt by this experience.

"I just want to thank the students for working so incredibly hard,' she said. 'They have been putting it just an unbelievable amount of time all semester and I think that they did a great job. I want to particularly thank Michael Churchill the director and Diane LaPierre stage manager who never get to take a bow, but that's a tremendous amount of work."


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