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Tischler returns home with new musical

March 3, 2011

By Tim Simard
Observer staff
Writer and composer Jacob Tischler, a St. George resident and CVU graduate, brings his play to Vermont next week. (Photo courtesy of Tom Strong)

Next week will be somewhat of a homecoming for St. George resident and Champlain Valley Union High School graduate Jacob Tischler.

As a “thank you” to the CVU community and all of those that helped steer Tischler towards pursuing a career in theater arts, he’ll debut the first musical he’s written as a college student.

Titled “Inexperienced Love,” Tischler’s play will open on Wednesday, March 9 at 8 p.m. at Burlington’s Main Street Landing Performing Arts Center. Complete with several special guests, including Williston sisters and singers Charlotte and Amelia Munson, the musical gives Tischler an opportunity to present what he’s learned while attending Carnegie Mellon University School of Drama in Pennsylvania.

“This is really exciting for me because now the community gets to see what I’ve been up to,” Tischler said.

“Inexperienced Love” features 11 songs centered around one common theme – love. Tischler said he wanted to explore the emotion in different ways, so he created romantically linked couples that each represent a facet of love.

“It’s a cross-examination of what love is,” Tischler said.

The couples – known as “The Romantics,” “The Undesirables,” and “The Discoverers” – present a varied view of love through music. Tischler, who casted himself in the musical as the presentation’s “guide,” also gets to sing before the audience.

The three couples’ stories are presented separately, but at the same time, in a series of vignettes, Tischler said. All the actors and the musical’s director are Carnegie Mellon students, he added.

Tischler said he unknowingly started writing the musical last fall in his sophomore year at Carnegie Mellon. He had a loose collection of love songs, but was unsure of how he might use them in a play or musical. Then came the university’s annual “Playground,” where students can write, produce, direct and act in a variety of performances over a three-day festival in November. The catch is students are given a limited amount of time for rehearsal with most productions beginning only a week before they debut.

Tischler said Playground week is one of the craziest college events he’s experienced, with many hours put in to different productions along with several sleepless nights.

“It’s the longest week of the entire year, but that’s how I know it’s the most fun,” he said.
Tischler received positive feedback for “Inexperienced Love” and decided to bring the musical to Vermont. After changing the story somewhat and adding a few songs, Tischler said he’s ready for its Burlington premier.

The play’s performances also act as a benefit for CVU’s Theatre Program, along with Burlington’s Lyric Theatre Company. As an extra gift to CVU, Tischler and members of the “Inexperienced Love” cast will visit the high school’s music and drama classes to talk about their college experiences and perform a few songs.

Tischler said he’s especially looking forward to having his CVU theater advisers – drama teacher Robin Fawcett and chorus teacher Carl Recchia – see his play for the first time. He’s also involving them in its production. Fawcett will act as the musical’s host, and Recchia will provide the piano accompaniment to the show’s music. For Tischler, this is the ultimate co-production of Carnegie Mellon and CVU talent.

“They were both wonderful mentor figures to me for a long time,” Tischler said. “This is kind of my offering to them.”

“Inexperienced Love” opens at the Main Street Performing Arts Center in Burlington on Wednesday, March 9 at 8 p.m., with shows on Thursday, March 10 at 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. Tickets are $20 for adults and $10 for students. Call 802-86-FLYNN, or visit www.flynntix.org for tickets. The musical contains adult situations and language.