On Stage

Aaron Ricciardi

The Premiere Musical program is crucial to what we do at IU, and Joe Schmoe Saves The World proved that. It brought a new, important, experimental piece of theatre to our department—something we don’t often see—and it challenged both the audience and the performers (like me). It also brought new blood into our community with outside artists like Brett, the writer, and Christian, the director, who had their own fresh perspectives. Acting in Joe Schmoe was a truly rewarding experience.

Aaron Ricciardi, M.A. Playwriting
Brian Kress

This project was exciting, collaborative, and educational to work on. Each time we performed it, it felt even more important for the audience to hear. The show was ever-changing, and ever-progressing as we found ourselves in these characters.

Brian Kress, Theatre B.A.
Dominic Pagliaro

Joe Schmoe Saves the World was one of the most educational and valuable experiences I’ve had so far in my career. When I was asked to ask to Assistant Direct the show, I immediately jumped at the opportunity. Not only did it give me my first chance to work on a musical from the side of the creative team, it allowed me to learn about the process of taking a new musical and putting it up on its feet. I sat behind the table with Brett Ryback (composer/lyricist/book) and Christian Barillas (director) and watched how they, together, shaped, tweaked, and sometimes rewrote the show to create the product that was put on in the Wells-Metz Theatre in August. Through my time spent working on the show, I gained a more cohesive understanding and appreciation for musical theatre, especially for new works that have a contemporary, relevant message such as Joe Schmoe Saves the World.

Dominic Pagliaro, Musical Theatre B.F.A.
Michelle Zink

Watching the creative team make a full production out of a few rehearsal blocks an some projections taught me that passion for a project can go a long way. We were able to see the essence of Joe Schmoe Saves The World with only those elements. That essence made a lasting impression.

Michele Zink, Musical Theatre B.F.A.