Dreamgirls debut at Morgan State

The musical theatre at Morgan State University wrapped its production of Dreamgirls on Sunday.


Cayla Cade, Campus News Editor

Dreamgirls has made its way to Morgan State University to give an African American experience to students and community members in Baltimore. 

Tyrone Stanley, coordinator of musical theatre and associate professor, gathered football players, theatre kids, and students with no musical experience in the Murphy Fine Arts Center to perform the musical. 

Dreamgirls is a musical drama film that features a talented group of close friends through the competitive world of the music industry. 

“It’s about three black women. And I feel like the black woman is the power of our people. We’re all powerful. But there’s something very special about a black woman, and the femininity of the Dream Girls, the strength of the Dream Girls, the beauty of the Dream Girls, that’s all great, and it’s a good part of it,” said Stanley. 

Stanley decided to showcase this musical because he wanted a musical that was an African American experience and was best for students that he auditioned and listened to. 

Dreamgirls addresses the racial tensions and issues of the 1960s and 1970s through the music, according to Stanley. 

“Musicians were not treated fairly. Our white counterparts were able to take songs and steal our music and take songs that we created, and make them their own and it rises on the charts,” Stanley said.

The show features two different lineups for their casting so everyone has a chance in the spotlight on stage. 

Stanley made it his goal to make his students and performers a triple threat. 

“You’re gonna get to see more than one cast because I wanted everyone to have an opportunity to build their resume,” he said. 

Although this performance is based off of Dreamgirls, “the innovation of this production of Dreamgirls is nothing like they’ve seen.”

Stanley was able to get retired Morgan State band director Melvin N. Miles, Jr. to direct and conduct this show. 

He also added elements that spoke to the growth and evolution of the musical. Stanley paid homage to the past while having the edge of the present day. 

The audience can expect a cameo from Stanley and a lot of male faces on stage. 

“And we dance together, you know, that excites me. Because sometimes it’s so hard to get young men, young black men stay in the arts. And they outnumber the women almost. So that excites me, because I know that we have a future here,” he said. 

The cast has been practicing since Feb. for six days a week for more than four hours. 

MSU’s musical theatre has been performing since April 19, ending its last show from 3 to 5 p.m. on April 23. 

Even though Stanley was a team of one and doing everything himself,  he was still able to get through staffing, costumes, and commitment issues.