By David Poulos, Contributing Writer
Theatre Arts and Cinema & Media Studies double major Charlie Wingert ’24 delivered his senior capstone staged reading on Feb. 4 in Brua Hall. Wingert wrote the story, arranged the music and directed the staged reading, titled “This Love: The Musical.”
Wingert narrated the story, and the songs were performed by Evan Hilborn ’25, Katie Poliero ’25, Elana Mandelberg ’27, Devyn Wesolwski ’25 and community member Joshua Schriver. The musical was based on Maroon 5’s album “Songs About Jane,” incorporating all the songs from the album, which has been influential and meaningful in Wingert’s life.
“Maroon 5’s ‘Songs About Jane’ is an album I’ve loved for over ten years now. The music has spoken to me in both high and low moments of my life,” Wingert said.
As he got older and learned more about both music and theater, Wingert discovered that all of the songs from “Songs About Jane” were telling one long story. When he discovered other examples of jukebox musicals, or musicals based on popular artists’ music, he realized he wanted to create something of his own.
Wingert spoke about what this project means to him: “‘This Love: The Musical’ is an idea I’ve had for five years and counting, and I’m more excited to be able to share it with an audience.”
Reflecting on his time at Gettysburg College, Wingert remembered his first visit to campus.
“Gettysburg has still been able to feel like a home away from home,” Wingert said. “Five years ago, when my mom brought me to tour here, I was skeptical; but as soon as I stepped out of the car, I was greeted with the best college tour, and a campus of people who were all so friendly and welcoming.”
Wingert expressed his appreciation for the many opportunities he was able to take part in at Gettysburg, such as studying abroad at Lancaster University in England.
“Small schools can be difficult to adjust to, and sometimes you need to get away, which is why I’m so happy Gettysburg provides the opportunity to go abroad because my junior year overseas is something I’ll never forget,” Wingert shared.
Wingert offered advice for future and current theater students: “Just audition! The theater department and clubs at Gettysburg are so welcoming to new people. The Owl & Nightingale players put on three mainstage shows every year providing opportunities for everyone’s strong suits. Student Musical Theater hosts four or more performing events including a fully student-run production every year!”
As for his post-graduation plans, Wingert expressed a desire to continue a career in theater.
“My main goal in life is to entertain an audience, and I will make that happen with whatever it takes,” Wingert said. “Whether my name is listed inside a Playbill or in the rolling credits to a movie, it’s important that I’m involved in things that bring joy to an audience. While I’m wrapping up a big chapter with the capstone, I don’t think I’ll ever feel that it’s finished until it’s on a professional stage.”