Workshop Focuses on a Musical About the Marianist Founders

This year marks the bicentennial celebration of the Foundation of the Daughters of Mary Immaculate (FMI) and in 2017, the Society of Mary (SM) will celebrate its bicentennial. To mark the celebrations, Nick Cardilino, the associate director of campus ministry at the University of Dayton, has begun collaborating and writing a musical about how the two institutes were founded by the Venerable Mother Adèle de Batz de Trenquelléon and Blessed William Joseph Chaminade.

"Over the years, I've heard bits and pieces of the stories of the founders," said Cardilino. "About eight years ago I heard a retelling of the founders' story from the beginning to the end and I thought wow, this is a great story. There is danger, there is adventure, and with Adèle, there are questions about romance or not. I thought, this could make a really cool musical.

"I didn't do anything for years until I realized we were coming up on the bicentennials," Cardilino continued. "I thought, I need to get going on this."

Cardilino enlisted help from music composer Brother Stan Zubek, SM and Jim Ford, the executive director of the Marianist Retreat Center in St. Louis, to create the musical. With the first act complete, Cardilino recently came to CJ to hear students and alumni perform a reading of the musical.

"It's so exciting having the students act it out and do some of the singing," Cardilino shared. "It's like a dream come true." 

Jacob Troutwine '17 said he didn't want to miss out on the opportunity to see the musical come to life.

"I thought it would be a great experience to see what is developing theatre wise outside of CJ," Troutwine explained. "It's a way to integrate both what I've learned in religion and acting.

"It's neat because it allows you to see the whole process leading up to a production," Troutwine continued. "Those of us in performing arts see a lot of development from the early stages in productions. By being in the middle of this production, figuring out how this could be on the stage and the execution of an actual performance, it's exciting. We're seeing a really creative mind at work and a look at how he wrote the music. We can look at what Mr. Cardilino has done and learn from it."

Cardilino said he hopes to have the musical completed by the end of 2016. He plans on making the musical available to schools, including the three Marianist universities and 17 Marianist high schools, as well as churches that are interested in putting on the production.

Posted July 13, 2016