Uni Life

UoN Musos Club; One Year Old and One Show Down

On the Trail to Oregon; Back Row: Molly Fraser, Jayde Willingham, Cody Baldwin, John Edwards, Lleyton Smith Front Row: Olivia Steven Seers, Tayla Dures, Harry Handebo

UoN Musos Club is producing their first-ever show – StarKid Production’s musical comedy ‘The Trail to Oregon’! With opening night only a week away, Phoebe Metcalfe goes behind the scenes to preview the show.

Someone dies.

Now, let me tell you why this isn’t a spoiler to UoN Musos production of The Trail to Oregon; you pick the ending.

That’s right, audience participation is just one of the many reasons co-directors Jayde Willingham (UoN Musos Club President) and Tayla Dures (UoN Musos Club Social Media Manager) chose to bring this StarKid Productions original to Newcastle.

But *insert horrible Southern American accent* what on God’s green earth is this show about?

The Trail of Oregon is a game and you have to try and survive to the end, so that’s also the premise of the show. The audience gets the choose the names of the characters, just like you would in the game.

“There’s a family who goes down to the Oregon Trail, which a lot of families did in the 1840s when the gold rush was happening. But, the Oregon Trail is very dangerous so there are a lot of mishaps that go along the way and this family is very interesting in how they deal with it,” explains the passionate StarKid fanatic, cast member/co-director Willingham.

Molly Fraser, Tayla Dures, Cody Baldwin, Jayde Willingham and Olivia Steven in character costumes on stage portraying the trail to Oregon.

Introducing the family; Molly Fraser, Tayla Dures, Cody Baldwin, Jayde Willingham, and Olivia Steven.

“It’s a comedic family journey,” adds theatre kid, cast member/co-director Dures.

Music in Motion; Lachlan Thompson, Dean Selem, Ben Seymour.

Even if you’re not a huge theatre or musical person there are still reasons to attend this fun upbeat comedy; firstly, THERE IS A LIVE SEVEN PIECE BAND.

Secondly, StarKid Productions (a small independent theatre company in America) is known for producing very approachable musicals that, according to Willingham, everyone loves and finds value in. You might be familiar with the name from their infamous Harry Potter spoof; A Very Potter Musical (if you’re not I highly recommend it – you can watch it for free on YouTube).

Thirdly, despite this being a musical, the UoN Musos club isn’t short for ‘musical club’, it’s a music club. So, you just KNOW the score and the live music is going to be good. Led by Musical Director Ben Seymour (UoN Alum), the absolute harmony the fellow Musos members were in as they were jamming before a tech run-through bodes incredibly well for the live show.

Pictured; Ethan Bird, Bill Robinson, Cameron Watman. Not Pictured; Jonathon Bullard.

It has been a massive feat for the club to get this solely student-run production to tech week, with obstacles due to COVID-19 pushing the opening night date five months later than intended. Every cast and crew member has been a UoN student and/or UoN Muso’s original member in the first year of the club’s existence, including tech and the entire band.

The two directors were visibly excited for someone outside of the club to witness just a slice of the show (I took the photos and ran as to not ruin the opening night for myself). They have both been dreaming about producing it together since High School.

“We met each other doing theatre in Port Macquarie and now we’re co-directing our first show together, so it’s come full circle,” says Willingham.


The Trail to Oregon will run from 4th – 13th March at the CAS Theatre in Hamilton.

Student concessions are available with tickets from just $25, on sale now!

Follow UoN Musos on Instagram for more events or updates on the show!

Feature Image and Article Images by Phoebe Metcalfe, Yak Media Staff Writer.


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