The weekend before last, students gathered to the Eynon Ballroom in the Chamberlain Student Center to see the production of Kill Me Now: Rowan Edition. After months of advertising and promoting and rehearsing, it was time to see which contestant would win this “dance competition”.
This show has been modeled after such popular TV reality series like; “Dancing with the Stars”, “So You Think You Can Dance” and “Dance Wars”. The exciting, fast paced, and interactive atmosphere entices the audience in a journey that leads to the ultimate destruction of the contestants whose lust for fame is weighed against their will to live.
I’ve been extremely excited to cover this story since I knew it was going to be put onto the stage. My audio interview with Melanie Stewart went fantastic and she really gave myself and my blog readers insight and background to Kill Me Now: Rowan Edition’s meaning and reasoning for being here at Rowan.
As show time grew closer, the atmosphere held a light buzz. The ballroom was transformed into a spectacular stage set up with dozens of chairs to accommodate the audience members.
After the show, I had the chance to talk to one of the contestants, Katarzyna Putyrski. But more importantly, I was able to hear from the actress herself, Allyn Mérida. She is a junior at Rowan University studying dance and she says that being a part of Kill Me Now was one of the best experiences she has had thus far here at Rowan.
“I have grown so much a performer and I have this show and the cast of Kill Me Now to thank for. I would not be the performer I am today without the wonderful Melanie Stewart who has always had faith in me and pushed me to my limits throughout this whole process. I am left with so many great memories. This cast has created such a close bond with one another that we are now a family.”
Merida has spent the entire semester working to perfect her role as Katarzyna Putyrski. “I love Katarzyna Putyrski she is such a charming and innocent girl, that creating her was such a joy. I am very pleased of how the audience responded to her each night and that people liked her even with her speech impediment. I would certainly do this whole project again if I could.”
The show went off with a hit if you were all wondering. The 8pm shows all three nights on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday were sold out by 7pm. Each night and each show, a different contestant won the “competition” and each contestant was killed off at different times in the performance, which always allowed for an entertained crowd.
Samantha DeBonis, a junior at Rowan, is a member of Dance Extensions. Dance Extensions was the group of Kill Me Now Dancers that performed in the beginning of the show, the end of the show, and added in some parts in between competition rounds. DeBonis said, “Being apart of Kill Me Now was an amazing opportunity to be apart of an event that Rowan has never seen. I felt like I was involved in something bigger then myself, that Rowan almost wasn’t even ready for what we had prepared, and I loved that thrill factor.”
“The show’s content is completely different from any other show. We are now going into an era where dance theatre is getting more and more popular.”
There is, however, that underlying message of not being good enough and what a dance competition and the judging of someone really reveals. Merida had a personal experience with that once so she knew all too well how each contestant should feel and how to portray that on the stage.
“This show has opened my eyes on how America really feeds into these reality tv shows. I myself who am not only guilty on watching some of these show, have actually auditioned to be a part of one and the show that I auditioned for was “So You Think You Can Dance.” I experienced everything first handily and I witnessed everything that was discussed during rehearsal. As I was being considered as a potential contestant I was standing there not knowing what my fate would bring. Once the judges came in agreement to their final judgment and told me “no”, I stood there with a big smile on my face replied “thank you” and proceeded off the stage with my walk of shame as the cameras followed me.”