XU Theatre makes rocking return

By Emma Stevens, Show Manager

Xavier’s Theatre Department is opening American Idiot next week, kicking off their season with their first full-capacity show in almost two years. The excitement swirling around the show is multifaceted, and the anticipation of the return of live performance is electrifying. 

American Idiot is a rock musical centered around the music from the Green Day album of the same name, as well as their follow-up album 21st Century Breakdown. The show follows the lives of three young people as they struggle to make sense of a  post- 9/11 world. 

The Xavier Theatre rendition of this two-time Tony- winning production has the force of long-repressed artists driving it. 

“The audience can expect two years of pent-up energy being unleashed on stage through the rock music of Green Day. This group of student artists are creating a special show,” Director Stephen Skiles stated.

The student anticipation of this performance is highly charged, not simply because they have been unable to perform for so long, but also because the theatre department selected, casted and began rehearsing this show prior to the pandemic.  

“Since the show was selected two years ago, there has been a ton of anticipation from not only the original cast from 2019, but the incoming classes from the past two years. We had to recast several roles from the seniors that graduated. Everyone in our department is psyched for this show to run,” Anthony Contreras, a junior musical theater major playing Joshua in the show, explained.

The recasting process brings a new life to this show and even allowed for some fresh directional decisions to be made by Stephen Skiles. 

“We lost multiple people from the show due to graduation and they are missed. But it gave us the opportunity to look at the show a bit differently, and we made some more interesting casting choices because of it. For example, we cast multiple females in historically male roles, which has really added a depth to some of the storytelling,” Skiles said, 

Aside from being the return of the live theatrical performance in full force, American Idiot drums up even more excitement as it is a collaboration between Xavier Theatre and Xavier music. The live band featured in the show is entirely made up of Xavier students. 

With the magic of theater and the power of music on its side, the Xavier production of American Idiot has the makings of a dazzling season opener. 

Running from Sept. 17-19,  students can buy tickets at ShowTix4U.com. 

“If you like Green Day, live theatre and/or musicals, you won’t want to miss this,” Skiles concluded.