When someone talks about Penn State, it’s easy to picture tailgates at Beaver Stadium before a football game or the Bryce Jordan Center at full capacity during THON weekend. However, one of the greatest things about an expansive university like Penn State is the sense of community and diversity that comes along with it.
Between undergraduate and graduate programs, there are almost 100,000 students enrolled at University Park each year. Such a broad community creates the perfect environment for different people from various backgrounds to gather together in the pursuit of shared interests and goals. Of these groups, Penn State’s College of Arts and Architecture provides an avenue for young artists to cultivate their creativity. Most recently, the College of Arts and Architecture facilitated a student production, “Brigadoon”, with Centre Stage.
In their production at the Playhouse Theatre, Penn State students Melody Munitz and Nick Brogan starred in “Brigadoon,” a musical that originally opened on Broadway in 1947. The musical is based upon a book and original lyrics written by Alan Jay Lerner, with a soundtrack produced by Frederick Loewe.
The production follows two American tourists, Tommy Albright (played by Brogan) and Jeff Douglas, as they embark upon a game-hunting trip that takes them from their home in New York to the Scottish Highlands. As they are traveling through Scotland, Tommy and Jeff happen to find an unusual Scottish village that local residents refer to as Brigadoon. Though the town of Brigadoon does not appear on any of the maps that the tourists refer to for directions, folk tales purport that Brigadoon appears for one day each century, before disappearing into oblivion for another hundred years.
When Tommy and Jeff stumble upon Brigadoon, Tommy meets a villager named Fiona (played by Munitz). Though Tommy has a fianceé, Jane, back home in New York, he quickly falls in love with Fiona. Fiona’s feelings for Tommy remain unknown to the others. Tommy, Jeff and Fiona gather with the local schoolmaster, Mr. Lundie, to inquire about marriage records from Fiona’s family that date back 200 years. At this time, Mr. Lundie explains that the town of Brigadoon has been protected from the influence of the outside world for over 200 years.
A local minister had asked God to shield Brigadoon from harm by only allowing the town to appear to outsiders once every hundred years. In an effort to preserve the integrity of Brigadoon, residents are not permitted to leave. However, Mr. Lundie explains to Tommy that he would be permitted to stay in Brigadoon if he truly loves Fiona.
Knowing that the end of the day is near, Fiona professes her love for Tommy, to which he responds by telling her that she wants to stay in Brigadoon with her forever. However, upon telling Jeff about his plans with Fiona, Jeff convinces Tommy that Brigadoon was merely a figment of their imaginations. Tommy concedes to Jeff, telling Fiona that he loves her, but must depart from Brigadoon. Fiona, along with the other villagers, fades into the darkness. As she fades, Fiona tells Tommy that she will always love him. Upon their return to the United States, Tommy is reunited with his fianceé, Jane.
The couple discusses their plans for their upcoming wedding, but Tommy realizes that his relationship with Jane only reminds him of his undying love for Fiona. Unable to ignore his true feelings, Tommy confesses to Jane that he cannot marry her. After Jane leaves, Tommy finds Jeff to tell him that he wants to return to Scotland, despite the fact that Brigadoon will not be there. The pair return to the spot in which they first encountered Brigadoon, initially seeing nothing. However, Mr. Lundie appears just as the men are preparing to leave, telling Tommy that his love for Fiona was so strong that it brought him back to their reality. Elated, Tommy bids farewell to Jeff and follows Mr. Lundie into the cloud of mist to be reunited with Fiona.
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