Friday, September 30, 2011

Music, lyrics and missed connections

The cast of 'Enter Love'

Although she spends her time behind the scenes, Lynn Lupold’s life is on the stage under the bright lights and in front of the entire audience. As the composer, lyricist and co-director of the musical ‘Enter Love,’ she watches as actors bring her songs and, ultimately, her own experiences to life at The Blue Theater.

Lynn Lupold, composer, lyricist and
co-director of 'Enter Love'

“I told [the actors] that my life is out there on the stage through these songs,” says Lupold, who’s also the founder of the theater company, Red Boat Productions. “‘Enter Love’ was by no means meant to be autobiographical but each song has meaning to me – these are my own experiences so it’s very personal.”

And indeed it should. A former principal at Lawrence North High School and Lafayette Jefferson High School, the Indiana-based composer’s enthusiasm for academia seems rivaled only by her passion for music. Despite her formal training as a professional musician at Butler University, Lupold eschews the rigors of classical music for another form of performance art: cabaret. “The classical style was never something I enjoyed but as an educator I certainly enjoyed being a part of musicals,” she recalls.

Jason Bowen, actor and founding member
of Quest Theatre Ensemble

‘Enter Love’ was a success in Indiana where it was originally a “songbook” of performances based on songs written and composed by Lupold. With her sights set on Chicago’s theater district, Lupold approached Quest Theatre Ensemble who saw the potential of transforming her work into a full-blown musical. The remake explores the dynamics of relationships, both old and new, in the frantic and emotionally charged environment of O’Hare Airport. “We really made a strong, concerted effort to rewrite a lot of the lyrics to help move the story forward,” she says, adding that her song selection was designed to showcase the talents of the entire cast.

“Anyone who writes music writes from the heart so it must be hard to let go of the music and have someone sing it and not have it done the way they had intended,” says Jason Bowen, actor and founding member of Quest Theatre Ensemble, who also plays Frank in ‘Enter Love.’ On working with Lupold, he says, “We made sure to try to do her work justice and one of the things she was really adamant about was that people had to sing from their hearts.”

So what is Lupold’s favorite song from the show? “That’s a really interesting question to ask someone who wrote all of it,” she says, laughing. “It’s like asking someone: who’s your favorite child?” 

‘Enter Love’ is open through Oct. 16 at The Blue Theater, 1609 W. Gregory, Chicago; free; 312-458-0895 and

No comments:

Post a Comment