UNC Milford Project

Love.War.Science.Puberty.Science.In that order.

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That’s how it works at the science fair!

Today we had a real science fair on stage in the Kenan Theatre.  Two sixth grade science classes from Woods Charter School have been working on science projects as part of a collaboration with The Milford Project!

Check out some videos that Bryan took during the fair!


Every student was presented with a “blue ribbon to wear” from our panel of three judges.  Ashley Beale, Travis Wright and Dr. Jim Ligon joined us to look over all 31 projects.

Bryan caught Emily coming up to get her award! Here’s a clip:


We had pizza, fruit, veggies and juice boxes for the kids. It was so nice to be able to have them here on stage with us because they were so excited to present their projects they had worked so hard on for over a month!

Tomorrow we OPEN THE SHOW!

Let the countdown begin! Get your reserve tickets because this show can’t be missed!



WE JUST FINISHED TECH! And we even got out a little early because it is snowing in North Carolina. Big deal for us.

I cannot even begin to tell you how unbelievably talented and dedicated the cast and crew are for this show! I was so impressed with how much we got done these past two days and so was our director, Scott Ripley.

Highlights from the weekend:

-Daily Tar Heel reporter, Deborah, came by and interviewed Scott, Jacob (Bern), Bryan (Richie), Margaret (Penny) and myself! It was so exciting to have her there and update her on the show and the joy we are finding in this project.

-O Richie- it works!

-The Vanlandingham’s Christmas Card- Thanks Kevin!

-Jacob and Bryan’s “after 10 hours of tech dance” that can be viewed if you click here. Trust me, you want to check this out!



-Plumstead’s fat suit.

-Plumstead girls looking really sexy.

-Hayley and Scott trying to get off stage.

-Upham’s “sexy” dress.

And much more, but these are just some things that stuck out to me.

If you want to check out a preview of the opening number, click here!  Also, be sure to get your reserve tickets before the show opens on Thursday! You can do that on the Tickets page of the website.

Can’t wait to see you all at the show!


Go Richie

Here are some photos from Woods Charter Middle School that Richie (Bryan Burton) was kind enough to take from our visit this past Thursday!

This student even drew a Plumstead girl on her poster!

Awesome time machine!

We are finalizing plans for our “real” science fair on February 22nd with the kids from the middle school!

Make sure you get your tickets soon. We open in eleven days!

More pictures and videos of the cast rehearsing to come soon.

MILFORD Goes Local

Three words: Rehearsal is fun.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s no easy task to learn the choreography, all the right notes and make it funny all at the same time, but we are getting there.  More importantly, we are having a great time exploring and creating this show.

But here is the coolest thing, each week cast members are driving to Woods Charter Middle School where they meet with two science classes of sixth graders.  Apparently, the kids have been so excited that UNC students have been visiting them! The middle-schoolers are taking a few science projects from the script and working on them at school.  The most exciting part is that we are going to have a real life science fair in the Center for Dramatic Art the day the show opens.  Each project will judged and awards will be given by UNC Chemistry and Physics students!  Our team is thrilled to be working with these great kids and we are truly looking forward to seeing their projects at the end of the month!

In the past week, we’ve had two of our very own cast members travel to auditions! It is so inspiring to see these actors working so hard on the show and on their future careers, which are sure to be filled with many more great roles! We are proud of you Stephanie and Bryan and wish you the best of luck in the future.

After our production meeting on Thursday, I am confident that the set is going to look pretty fantastic. Our crew is working hard every day to create a set that really lets our troupe play with the commedia not only in their acting, but with the set as well.  I know Scott and myself are truly impressed with the designers and their work on such an innovative and impressive set design.

I’m sitting here in rehearsal as I write this and I keep losing my train of thought because I am laughing constantly.  Something I really appreciate and I’m sure that everyone in the room appreciates is the creative and open environment that has been established since day one.  Mistakes are valued because sometimes they lead to a new idea or a laugh.

So, make sure you get your tickets (here) because you DO NOT want to miss this show!



And this story begins like most stories, at a junior high science fair!

The Milford Project, by Kevin Oeser and Nick Martin, has made its way to UNC for an East Coast premiere on Thursday, February 23rd.  The cast and creative team is working hard to produce an amazing show.  Two weeks after the first rehearsal, we ran Act 1 and I have to say… it was awesome for a first run through!

For those of you who are not familiar with The Milford Project, the show tells the story of Richie, a thirteen-year-old science prodigy who attracts the attention of the US government with his research into the properties of the atom.  Richie is secretly told to construct a superweapon Amercia can use in the coming war… because no one ever suspects the child.  The Milford Project offers a little bit of everything: love, science, puberty, war and more science.  Oh and it’s a musical, so there will be singing and dancing with a lot of laughs in between!

Scott Ripley, an assistant professor in the Dramatic Art Department at UNC, has taken on the role of director for this show and wow, what an indescribable experience, but I am going to try and share as much as I can.  Scott brings an electric vibe to the room and encourages the actors to find the joy in the work that they are creating.  Since rehearsals started a little over two weeks ago, Scott has been working with the cast on using aspects from commedia dell`arte.  He trained in this type of comedy with Katrien van Beurden and Carlos García Estévez at Teatro Punto in Amsterdam. Don’t worry, if you don’t know what this is, it’s okay… Scott had to explain it to me too! A very short summary about commedia dell`arte is that it orginated in Renaissance Italy but was lost for many centuries.  Essentially, it is the source of all comedy in the West that deals with comic archetypes and most importantly recognizing that the work is for and with the audience.  Lazzi, a comic bit that lasts anywhere from 3 seconds to a litte over a minute, is one of the main focuses.  A modern example of commedia dell`arte is Family Guy or most any cartoon.

For this project, commedia dell`arte will help our troupe discover our truthful, yet unrealistic selves, find the joy in the creation of theatre and to learn a form that is for and with the audience.  The cartoonish characters offer the actors a different way to explore their own talents and let me just tell you that this cast is INCREDIBLE!!  They are working so hard (and professionally) to really understand this comedic structure, the music and the choreography.  They even helped me come up with a Twitter hash tag specifically for Milford: #gomilfgoamerica (follow us here).  The creative team is doing such an awesome job as well.  It is amazing the dedication everyone is showing to this show.

Rehearsals are such an amazing experience for everyone involved.  The script is hilarious and each cast member has a unique ability to create a true musical comedy.  I will hopefully be posting photos and videos soon to share a little more of our experience with you all!

If you want to know more about The Milford Project at UNC, feel free to email me at arebeccablack@gmail.com!


Rebecca Black, Associate Producer

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