After producing the musical comedy Chicago in an impressive three weeks, HEC Paris students dazzled audiences at the show’s April 1st debut. The troupe’s two packed performances marked the culmination of twelve weeks of intensive rehearsal, including singing, dancing, and choreography, during which the 37-person cast put together a professional quality Broadway musical in English.
The play’s seductive energy came from more than the corsets, high heels, and sumptuous red cabaret costumes: it was the actors’ shared passion for theater that defined the play’s success. “Three months is an incredibly short time to produce a musical as complex as Chicago,” explained Oriane Cannac, who directed the show. “What makes Chicago so challenging—and so captivating— is that dream and reality are constantly alternating. Every member of the cast is absolutely essential to the show’s success; everyone brings his or her own ideas about blocking, singing, and dancing. For me, there isn’t only one director in our troupe—there are over thirty.”
The wealth of ideas that the actors brought to the production likely stems from their broad array of backgrounds: the troupe includes Specialized Masters, Master in Management Grande École, MSc, and MBA students. The troupe cites this diversity as the source of the show’s spark. “We learned a lot from one another, and everyone’s journey was unique,” said Co-Director Manlio Marano. “And we had actors from all over the world- French, Italian, Lebanese, Indian, Norwegian, Russian, Quebecois, Tunisian, Algerian, Brazilian, Filipino, and Korean.”
Following a record number of ticket sales, the troupe made the decision to donate the entirety of their profits to cancer research. Their contributions will go to the ARC Foundation, a leading charity and the first organization in France 100% dedicated to cancer research.