Thursday, September 4, 2014

Playing Both Good & Evil, Hero & Villain

Playing Both Good & Evil, Hero & Villain
5 Questions with DJ Shultz
Dr. Henry Jekyll/Edward Hyde, Jekyll & Hyde The Musical

by Alexa Giacomini, Member – Muni Board of Managers

AG: Tell us a little about yourself…
DJS: I’m married to my beautiful, supportive wife Karen with 2 awesome kids, Kinsley (8) and Kreston (4.)  I've been at Western Oaks Baptist Church for 14 years as the Music Minister and recently became the Executive Pastor at WOBC.  I also own a construction company, Lifestory Homes.

I enjoy spending time with my family, performing/directing local theatre, and golfing when I can squeeze it in. Unfortunately I'm also a long suffering Cubs fan.

AG: What's your Muni experience? 
DJS: My first experience with the Muni family was in 2002, when I played Joseph in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. I've also served as musical director for All Shook Up and was most recently in Les Miserables, which was performed last year.

The best part of The Muni is the people. The Muni is a big family and it's all heightened and intensified every summer as we spend countless hours together; everyone working together toward a common goal of high quality musical theatre.

AG: In Jekyll & Hyde The Musical you get to portray both the hero and the villain, sometimes switching between both in the middle of a scene. What do you see as your greatest challenge in doing this realistically (without the assistance of makeup/effects), and how will you prepare?  
DJS: When I first learned that Muni was doing Jekyll & Hyde The Musical, I was pretty indifferent because I was not familiar with the show. Once I listened to the music and started digging into the story, I was really intrigued by the role and its many challenges.

I have been classically trained in vocal performance and I believe that foundation will be very important in this role. I've always had the God-given ability to change/modify my voice /tone to whatever genre of music I was singing. That will be critical to this role. Jekyll and Hyde not only switch in the middle of a scene but at one point every two measures in the “Confrontation” song towards the end of Act 2.  It will also be a stretch/challenge for me in the acting realm. Definitely the most challenging role I've played so far.

AG: Are there any themes from this show that speak to you in particular, given your background in the ministry/church or otherwise?  
DJS: Definitely, the theme of good and evil is the central theme to this show. It's a question that mankind has been dealing with since the beginning. We all are on a journey and each of us has a choice on how we try and live our lives. It's not a stretch for us to know what evil is. Mankind is fallen because of choices they made in the garden of Eden but God provided a way for good to prevail by sending His son, Jesus Christ. Good wins.

AG: Why should people come see Jekyll & Hyde The Musical?  

DJS: The haunting yet beautiful music itself is worth the ticket price. A talented cast, production crew, and staff will give their all to bring this Tony-nominated musical to life for the first time on the Muni stage.