Brought to you by Measure for Measure Theatre, 35MM is an interactive theatre production that focuses on bringing images to life through music and dance. The photography featured in the show is the work of Matthew Murphy, and the music and lyrics were created by Ryan Scott Oliver. The musical exhibition focuses on many important social issues, while still having some lighthearted scenes as well.
While the show is not associated with NSU directly, many NSU students are involved in the production. Kelly Johnson and Damien Matherson, the co-owners of the theatre company, are both NSU Sharks, Johnson is a senior theatre major and Matherson is an educational law graduate student. Johnson is also the choreographer of the show, and Matherson is the director. Many Sharks are also cast in acting and production roles in the show.
The show features an interactive format where the audience is invited to walk around the stage and take a look at the photos featured in the show before the performance begins. The photos tell a story that is brought to life in the musical performances and dance numbers. This format allows the audience to draw conclusions about the photos before the show begins and then experience the music behind them. The audience is also invited to chat with the cast members after the show to discuss the scenes.
“Each song is based off a photograph taken by the composer’s partner, so it’s all about how a picture, a moment in time, is worth a thousand words,” Johnson explained.
Genesis Perez, sophomore double major in arts and administration and music and dancer in 35MM, explained that the experience as a dancer in 35MM is unlike anything else she has ever done before.
“Our director is making everything come to life in a way that I’ve never seen before,” Perez explained. “Every song tells a different story, and we have different styles of dance that we do depending on the music, so for one of them I am an acrobat tumbling around, and then in another, it’s a more contemporary style.”
Between the variety of songs, the visual photograph aspect and the storytelling musical and dance elements, 35MM has something for everyone. The production aims to showcase a variety of life situations in a way that will impact the audience.
“I think there are just a lot of different stories being told, some are really exciting and upbeat about relationships, and others are about serious issues like domestic violence and religion, things like that. You really get a broad spectrum of different topics,” Johnson said. “I’d be surprised if you didn’t come out feeling something about what you saw.”
35MM will open on Sept. 15, and has four shows each weekend until the final showing on Sept. 23. The Friday showings begin at 8 p.m., and there are two showings both Saturdays at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m., in addition to Sunday showings at 2 p.m. The exhibition is located at The Abyss Theatre in Wilton Manors. Students and large groups are offered tickets at a discounted rate, and tickets can be purchased at the door or online. For more information on 35MM, visit measureformeasuretheatre.com.