EVENINGS // Thursday, Friday, & Saturday, August 11, 12, & 13 // Doors at 7 PM // Show at 7:30 PM
MATINEE // Sunday, August 14 // Doors at 1:30 PM // Show at 2 PM
The Retail Song Cycle, by University of Montana Music alumnus Cameron Michael Fehring, follows Mac, an idealistic young man from a small town with a strong work ethic who believes that people are generally good. At the show’s start, Mac starts a new job at a Fortune 500 retail store and he soon finds it is more than he bargained for. Throughout the musical, Mac navigates the reality of being a naive, eager new employee and coming to terms with the opposing forces of “actual reality” and “retail reality.” The Retail Song Cycle is the true story of the first year Fehring spent in Fortune 500 corporate retail.
Fehring has been working on writing The Retail Song Cycle since 2009 when he was a grad student studying musical theatre at the University of Montana. The first song premiered in a Missoula cabaret in 2009. In the years that followed, Fehring collected stories and experiences during his tenure in retail, both in Montana and New York.
Since 2015, Fehring has produced three other readings of the musical: two in New York City and one in Riverton, Wyoming. A reading is a style of theater in which actors present new works using scripts/scores, minimal sets, costumes, and props, so the playwright gets vital feedback on the show. The added layer of having an audience will help the playwright understand how the play will be received and what revisions may be needed. Fehring has seen the benefit of these readings and feels they have helped him rewrite, refine, and hone his work.
Fehring chose Missoula for the fourth reading because the events portrayed in the show happened in Missoula. He also wanted to collaborate with his former music professor, Dr. Cody, and the theatre community in Missoula. “It honestly feels like we’re bringing this show home,” Fehring said.
“This reading will be unique because it takes place in the same town where the story stemmed from,” said Jasmine Sherman, director of this iteration of The Retail Song Cycle. “I am excited about this musical because it is about retail. I have been a waitress for 11 years, so there are a lot of parallels. If you work in customer service, you will love this show, and it’s hilarious.”
For further information, accessibility, and inquiries please visit https://www.zootownarts.org/meet-the-zacc/about/.