MULTI 2016: Evolve was more about acceptance than culture.
MULTI is one of the major student-run WCI productions that is supported by Ms. Ramsewak and Ms. Schulze and other WCI teachers. It has traditionally been focused on showcasing different cultures, but this year the show tied together talent and promoted diversity and expression that lived up to its theme: Evolve.
Evolve gave its cast the incentive for further creativity and implementing more fusion and more time changing numbers. MULTI 2016 included Hindi and Turkish Fusion, the revival of musical theatre to the iconic “I don’t dance” number from High School Musical 2, and, an original song by one of MULTI’s own directors to top off the night.
But having a theme this year was more significant than it has been in the past.
Themes in the past, while an important part of MULTI, have drawn focus away from the true mission of the show and confined the music, drama and dance performances to the marketing schemes for those shows.
That said, themes have made MUTLI powerful. Last year’s theme, Caution, aimed at highlighting the fragility of the world. However, whether or not the audience had the same interpretation of the theme is not clear.
This year, the decision to still have a theme was made to focus on the original mission of MULTI, to provide a place for people to express themselves and put forth the message that acceptance and diversity are key in society.
In a true embodiment of the theme, MULTI “evolved” this year. The show had more producers, more directors, more rehearsals. And the show took a more aggressive approach to clarifying what the theme and message of the show was this year. In fact, the team called the “theme” a “message” to more clearly articulate this change.
With all these changes, did MULTI actually succeed in “evolving” this year?
In the past, mystery has been the marketing approach of the show, with the theme being slowly revealed to the school. This year the marketing team made it their main mission to ensure that the message was clear and that the advertising blitz really got people thinking on a deeper level.
Sameeksha N., a grade 10 student who participated in MULTI for the second year in a row said the theme was “about evolving one’s mindset and evolving society to meet the changing needs of the people and in this sense, the logo did do its job. While I was initially perplexed by the choice to go with a seemingly exploding head, looking at it now, I feel like it really embodies the message the directors and producers were going for.” Others said that the message was more more appropriate to the show than themes have been in past years.
MULTI went full-out with more full run-throughs and dress rehearsals prior to show. However, MULTI wouldn’t be MULTI if not for a little chaos. There were performance issues, group drama and overall moments of low morale.
New cast member Jasmine M. said, “Even though we had potential for great success and when people weren’t committed it caused some setbacks. What makes MULTI special is how everyone works together to make everything better.” As someone who had only seen the show and never participated, Jasmine gave insight to the third most important aspect of MULTI: family.
Ms. Schulze, the teacher who has been the backbone for MULTI for years has always cited her love for the show stemming from the sense of community and the idea of creating a family. One dancer in particular remarked that it “was nice to not be ignored.”
Article: Aditi Venkatraman
Photography: Natalie Carmichael