Successful Opening Night for Musical 9-5 Filled with Technical Tricks and Talented Young Actors


Lead actresses (from left to right) Ella Greer, Ashley Anoubon Momo, and Katie Price performing “Shine Like the Sun” with lead actor Chase Bochenek in 9-5.

The hard work of Dominion students and community members resulted in a highly successful opening night of Titan Theatre’s production of the Musical 9-5 last Thursday at 7:30. The musical consisted of an impressive 19 songs accompanied live by a pit, incredible tech work, and four talented lead actors.

Based on the popular 1980 film, the story follows three women, Violet Newstead (Ella Greer), Doralee Rhodes (Ashley Anoubon Momo), and Judy Bernly (Katie Price), who stand up to their “sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical bigot” of a boss, Franklin Hart Jr., who is played by Chase Bochenek. At its core, 9-5 is a hilarious comedy that shares a message about women empowerment; “It’s just three girls living that hard working life of 9-5 and really coming together and bonding even through their differences,” Anoubon Momo said.

What sets 9-5 apart from other productions by Titan Theatre is not only the greater size in terms of people and content, but also the fluidity of set changes and impressive storytelling, which is made possible by the revolving stage, spotlight dancers, and talented actors. 

The revolving stage includes three different sets which rotate on a circular platform and undergo additional transformations by the run crew throughout the show. Since spotlight dancers take the stage during set changes as well, the audience may miss transitions altogether. According to Cass Sanzano, assistant stage manager of the production, “blood, sweat and tears” went into the creation of the revolving stage, which allows the show to move quickly and keep up with the fast paced dialogue and overall storyline.

Each actor demonstrated what was clearly weeks of intense preparation resulting in highly convincing performances, especially those by Greer and Bochnek. In this production, Greer showcased her strong vocals as a talented singer and impressive acting capabilities which stand out from the group. 

Also, Bochenek, despite playing a character that was tough to swallow, was one of the most beloved characters from the audience and members of Titan Theatre. “Chase just pulls off that role better than I think anyone ever could. I don’t know who played [Hart] in the movie, but he’s got some competition with Chase because Chase just killed it,” Anoubon Momo said.

“Playing him has been very fun because it’s just so exaggerated. There’s multiple scenes where he dies, which is very fun to play because they’re very fantastical deaths,” Bochenek said.

In such a big production, five students took part in the creation of between 80-90 costumes that were used throughout the show. Head costume designer Emma Mitchell said her proudest costume design was a transforming dress which was worn by Greer during the song “Poison Notion.” “Even though it’s a quick change on stage, it’s such a magical moment where you see this true, dreamy side of Violet, and that’s where I had the most creative liberty,” Mitchell said.

Titan Theatre’s Kalindi Vyas “saved the show” when she stepped in as student choreographer and completed three quarters of the show’s choreography in less than four weeks, according to Sanzano. “It wouldn’t have happened without her,” Sanzano said.

Vyas enjoyed taking on the role of choreographer and was impressed with the performance considering the limited time. “My spotlight dancers were really on it and they would not mess around. They would get the choreography down,” she said.

“I think it just goes back to perseverance. We just love the show and it means a lot to us so we wanted to do right by it,” Sanzano said.

Between the two acts, the show is filled with scenes ranging from hilarious to heartfelt. Head stage manager Raine Downe’s favorite song from the show is “Get Out and Stay Out,” because they “love how emotional it is and especially how Katie articulates it.” 

Simultaneously, comedic characters such as Doralee keep the audience laughing throughout the show. “I love Doralee, Doralee is so funny and her comedic timing and just everything about her character is so amazing,” Mitchell said.

This highly entertaining show is one of Titan Theatre’s most ambitious shows to date and opening night was nothing short of a success filled with laughs and a great message that Titan Theatre has certainly lived through. “It is very much about learning who you are no matter what stereotype people try to put you in and just persevering through whatever hardships in life might throw at you,” Mitchell said.

Tickets are $5 for students, $10 for senior citizens and $15 for adults available for purchase at the door or online. Titan Theatre advises that the content is PG-13 due to portrayals of drugs and alcohol, suggestive language, and a fake gun and gunshot noises.