By Gillian Kruse '09 -- As a freshman, I'd heard from some friends in the MOB who played in the pit orchestra for a light opera group about auditions for their spring show, and I'd always been interested in being in a musical. I went to Hanszen after dinner one day and ended up cast in the Rice Light Opera Society's 2006 production of Ruddigore.
That semester got me hooked on performing onstage and built some lifelong friendships with students and alumni (many former RLOS performers came back as alumni to help out with the show in one way or another). I went on to perform in three more RLOS shows during my time as a student, as well as one more as an alum. It was great to be able to have a creative outlet that was very different from what I was learning in the classroom, and I have tons of fond memories of trying to put together all aspects of a show (not only memorizing lines and choreography but sewing costumes and painting scenery) as a cast.
While RLOS is no longer a performing club, parts of it live on! Many of those who performed with me at Rice -- and some other Rice alumni as well -- are now performing with the Gilbert and Sullivan Society of Houston. This summer, we'll be performing Princess Ida (a hilarious story about a prince and his friends disguising themselves to sneak into an all-women's college to find the titular princess) at the Wortham Theater downtown. Of a cast of 50, eight of us are Rice alums from a span of 20 years of graduating classes, all brought together by our love of the performing arts.
We'd love to see a ton of Rice friends and family in the audience! Princess Ida runs July 22-31, 2016, and tickets can be purchased at hgns.org.