Last year Benjamin Fritz, a Millersville University junior studying music and theater, was going about his usual business and putting together a playlist of acoustic love songs when an idea came to him. “Out of nowhere Tattooed Heart by Ariana Grande popped into my head, and I thought, ‘wow, I’d really like to see a show that has this song in it,’” Fritz shares, “Then I started thinking about other acoustic love songs, and I thought, ‘You know what would be cool? A show made up entirely of acoustic love songs.’” So, he set to work on his idea, and although he did not have previous experiences with the All-Campus Musical Organization’s showcases, he decided he wanted to direct one.
Now, Fritz is directing the showcase “Love Unplugged.” Fritz expects to graduate in the spring of 2022 and hails from Marietta, Pennsylvania. While Fritz has been an active ACMO member for four semesters, this will be his first time directing a showcase.
“The thing I’m most looking forward to is seeing the final product, and seeing my final vision completed and on display in its entirety,” he shares, “The show has evolved so much in the last few months, and I’m very excited to watch it continue to grow and evolve now that I’m working with a cast, and to see what the final product looks like by the end of the creative process.”
Fritz wanted to make sure the show explored various parts of love, and not just romantic love, but the love of friends and family as well. “It’s mostly upbeat, shining lights on all of the exciting, positive events and emotions that come along with each type, but there are hints of the darker sides to love and interaction sprinkled throughout as well,” Fritz says, “The theme really hits all the angles, and the various depths and levels that come along with the very human experience of love.
Fritz also feels the show will be something anyone can relate to, “The setlist has a wide range of songs from various eras, as well as various genres of music, so there’s sure to be songs that everyone can recognize and enjoy.”
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, “Love Unplugged” will not be performed live. Instead, the show will be a live broadcast of prerecorded performances. Those who wish to see the show can watch the live-stream from the MU Theater YouTube channel on Friday, Nov. 6 at 8 p.m. and Saturday, Nov. 7 at 2:30 p.m.
Fritz hopes the Love Unplugged showcase will bring joy to those who watch, “I think the theme of love really hits that home, because at the end of the day that’s what we all need. At the end of the day the thing that’s going to get us through all of this is having love for one another and finding new ways to come together and create beautiful things.”