‘Ordinary Days’ is extraordinary musical theater

University Gallery is the site-specific venue for this production

Elizabeth Lamark

Cast members of ‘Ordinary Days’ rehearse this week in RIT’s University Gallery. Much of the play is set in New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art. The show runs Thursday through Sunday.

Rochester Institute of Technology’s University Gallery is the perfect venue for an upcoming play where much of the plot takes place in New York City’s Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Ordinary Days runs at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 30, through Sunday, April 2, in the gallery, in Booth Hall.

“It’s really a great setting for this play,” said Kelley Holley, assistant professor of theater in the School of Performing Arts, who is making her RIT directorial debut. “So much of this play is at The Met. It’s a really important location in the story. Much of the theme of the play is about finding beauty in everyday things through art. We can use the gallery where art and everyday life coexist.”

Holley said projections during the play will promote the creativeness of a gallery – with images displayed on walls rather than shown on a screen.

During the production’s run, an exhibit, featuring items from students in RIT’s College of Art and Design, will happen to be displayed at the gallery.

“I’m really glad we get to perform in the space while it’s being used as its intended and also for the play itself,” Holley said.

Kelley calls Ordinary Days a comedy with heartfelt moments.

The play, presented by the RIT School of Performing Arts, has musical accompaniment and portrays four New Yorkers whose lives intersect as they search for fulfillment, happiness, love, and cabs.

“There are two sets of characters,” she said. “There’s awkwardness of figuring out what your life will be like in your early 20s, which a lot of our students can relate to. The other couple, in their 30s, are having a more difficult time in their romance and asking tough questions.”

The cast is comprised of six students, all RIT performing arts scholars.

“We had such a talented pool of students try out, it was really hard to select them,” she said.

Coincidentally, the six cast members are from New York City or close by in Connecticut and New Jersey. They even took a joint trip to New York City, where they visited The Met and went to see some Broadway theater.

But for now, the cast will be based in University Gallery, rather than a traditional stage.

“It’s cool we can bring theater to other places,” Kelley said. “The connection with the gallery really stood out for this production. It’s a great way to use unconventional spaces on campus.”

All performances will be captioned and interpreted.

Tickets are $5 for students, $10 for faculty, staff, and alumni; $12 for public; and $6 for seniors over 60, and available at the RIT box office or at the door.

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