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Ferris Theatre to Present `9 To 5, The Musical' at Williams Auditorium

Ferris TheatreSophomore Keegan Zender, of Muskegon (in sportcoat), a Biochemistry student at Ferris State University who plays Joe in "9 to 5, The Musical" prepares for practice in Williams Auditorium. Junior Rachel Fox, of White Cloud, (to the right of Zender) is a junior in the Public Relations program, with the part of Roz in this production.

A troupe of approximately 40 Ferris State University students will offer four performances of “9 to 5, The Musical” in a fall presentation for Ferris Theatre. The premiere Thursday, Oct. 31, at 7:30 p.m. in Williams Auditorium.

The 2008 musical offers songs and lyrics by Dolly Parton and is based on Patricia Resnick’s book, which became a hit movie in 1980 starring Parton, Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda. The screenplay was developed by Resnick and Colin Higgins.

Sarah Kusowski, of Freeland, a senior n Ferris’ Integrative Studies program, has a lead role, playing the part of Violet Newstead.

“This is my fourth year of participating in musicals at Ferris. I have been performing on the stage since I was an eighth-grader,” Kusowski said. “In each production. I have joined here we all work our butts off, and it is a great experience.

Keegan Zender, of Muskegon, is a sophomore in Biochemistry, who plays Violet’s husband, Joe.

“The Ferris Theatre program is a real good family, a very supportive group,” Zender said. “It is a highlight of my day to come in and goof around with these guys.”

Rachel Fox, a Public Relations major from White Cloud, is a junior who plays Roz, the main antagonist in the production.

“I have learned a great deal about time management and discipline so I can pursue one of my passions through taking part in this production,” Fox said. “I have to give some things up to be able to make the most of this opportunity, but I really like the character and identify with her search for happiness.”

Lily Cyr, a junior from Kalamazoo studying English Education, will play Kathy, a supporting member of the cast. As a veteran of Ferris Theatre, Cyr echoed Fox’s thoughts on balancing her academics with her love of performing.

“I find myself placing a significant focus on tackling my classwork during the day so my nights are free for our production,” Cyr said. “Sometimes, that can be difficult, but the experience is totally worth it.”

Humanities Professor Katherine LaPietra is the director for “9 To 5,” with Robert Cardana, an adjunct instructor, serving as technical director.