Panel Info
Unique IDSU0212
Application Details
Entrant Club(s):The University of Canterbury Musical Theatre Society (MUSOC)
Entry completed by:Ben Greenway
Club Role:Secretary
Email:Email hidden; Javascript is required.
Category SelectionReminder that events and initiatives must have occurred in the eligible period: 7 September 2020 to 12 September 2021
Which category is this nomination for?Best Major Event 2021
Name of event or initiative:The COSMIC Season of Reefer Madness
Brief overview of the event or initiative:

Reefer Madness is a satirical musical-comedy show about the ‘dangers’ of marijuana. MUSOC’s production had a cast of 30, live band of 5, and supporting production team and crew of 29. Despite performing two shows at level-2, we had an audience of 945, a club record since returning to Ngaio.

What were the aims of the event or initiative?

After being unable to perform a full-scale production in the second half of 2020, MUSOC aimed to provide members the opportunities they had sorely missed in the last year. We wanted to go big on scale, giving as many people the chance to sing, dance, act, play, create, and crew as possible.

Reefer Madness sought to entertain and provide relevant social commentary following the 2020 referendum. With other companies cancelling entire seasons, we aimed to bring musical theatre back to the masses.

Symbolically, the club returned to its roots; performing the same show as after its revival 11 years ago.

How did you make it happen?

The show was made possible with the support of major sponsors: COSMIC and RDU. In addition, we had support from two advertising, five tech, and three props/costume companies. We made use of two Production Managers to thoroughly schedule and organise the show.

Due to set components being shared with Electric Avenue, the sudden move to alert level 2 caused significant delays to our pack-in. We overcame this with great mahi from our volunteers and suppliers, then continued production week with social distancing and masks.

We performed the show despite opening week audiences being capped at 100 patrons.

How did you make it better?

We secured funding from principal sponsor, COSMIC, very early on in the process and collaborated with them to create clever anti-marijuana propaganda style advertisements. The show was deliberately timed to fall soon after the 2020 'reefer-endum’ to maximise audience appeal.

The set design for Reefer Madness was one of MUSOC’s most ambitious to date. A multi-level second story showed off our live band for the entire show while a 3m diameter revolving platform made for fast scene changes.

A dedicated artist helped to design makeup and prosthesis, and prepare our cast of various creatures to maximise production value.

How did you show your commitment to sustainability?

Throughout the production process, we made a concerted effort to avoid waste. Where possible, we made use of existing costumes and props from the club’s own storage container. Where this wasn’t possible, we went out of our way to borrow/hire items from other companies rather than creating then disposing. Providers included North Canterbury Musical Society, Impact Dance and Stage School and the Court Theatre.

A number of decorations, including fake ivy leaves from the show’s orgy scene, are being recycled for the club’s annual ball which was deliberately chosen to have a ‘botanic’ theme.

Please upload any supporting evidence:
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