Many people quickly turn to social media to rant about what’s happening in the world, but two 21-year-olds from St. John’s took their views to centre stage.
Unhappy with what they were seeing south of the border, Peter A. MacDonald and Spencer FitzGerald took their pent up frustrations and penned an entire musical about Donald Trump, called Trummp the Musical — yes, deliberately spelled with two Ms.
“Usually our generation is looked at as not having anything to do with politics, so it is really important to kind of have our stance on it and say our piece,” MacDonald said.
The Arts and Culture Centre in St. John’s is a long way from 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., but that isn’t slowing the 60 or so people from performing the musical for the first time Thursday night.
“[My] knees are shaking, I’m so nervous. I’m super excited,” said FitzGerald.
“Everybody’s putting in a lot of hard work and I think we’re definitely ready for opening night, but it’s going to be a crazy couple of days getting there.”
The pair have been performing and writing music together since they were 10 years old but admit neither are overly political.
Writing a 15 song musical about Donald Trump may draw criticism that the previous statement is #fakenews.
“I am a little bit [political] but not as much as I think I should be or I would like to be,” MacDonald said prior to rehearsal Monday.
“I see what’s going on in the world and it really makes me angry.”
Trummp the Musical features Taylor Aucoin as the 45th President of the United States, though the entire show isn’t entirely about him.
Two interns, brother and sister Max and Suzy played by MacDonald and his sister Miranda, get jobs at the White House and start to notice things aren’t the way they should be.
“They see what has to change and the truth behind everything that is going on and they decide to take a stand,” FitzGerald said.
It took the pair about a two-and-a-half years to get the musical from a computer screen to the main stage at the Arts and Culture Centre. To help pull that off, the pair reached out to Peter MacDonald Productions.
“My parents are not biased,” MacDonald said of getting his father, Peter Sr., and mother, Ronalda Hutton MacDonald, on board.
He jokingly said that there have been many times his folks didn’t cast him in their shows and then the three would sit down awkwardly eating dinner.
“We knew that if they wanted to do it, then we actually had something to say. It’s really cool to be able to take something so personal and to be able to do it with your family.”
Trummp the Musical is a big step away from the traditional productions Peter MacDonald is known for, such as Oliver! and Hairspray.
“It was very different experience because the musicals that we do usually are well known, but this one nobody knows including ourselves,” MacDonald Sr. said.
The show will have a preview night on Thursday and then play Friday and Saturday night at the Arts and Culture Centre.