Question and answer:

By Josh Albrecht

The NIU School of Theatre and Dance’s performance of “Guys and Dolls” doesn’t contain the popular dance move “jazz hands.”

Although, Alice Pacyga, a first-year MFA student, admits that some dance sequences feature outstretched arms and hands – but the hands never technically shake, which is a “jazz hands” staple.

This past Tuesday night, before one of the show’s final rehearsals, The Weekender caught up with Pacyga (Miss Adelaide), first-year MFA Alex Gunn (Sky Masterson) and sophomore acting major David Pittman (Arvide Abernathy) amongst the the backstage chaos.

As the performers, stage crew and orchestra scrambled to get the show ready for the performance, the three actors all answered the same series of five questions designed to reveal the heart of the show.

The Questions:

1. What’s been the best part of doing “Guys and Dolls?”

2. Is it easier to do musicals or plays?

3. Do you wish people would bust out singing in real life, just like in musicals?

4. Which is harder, singing and dancing or walking and chewing gum?

5. How do you prepare for the performance?

Bonus: Are you a bunch of crazy guys and dolls?

The Answers:


1. For me personally, it’s one of my favorite shows. My younger brother played the same role as I did and it was fun to play the same role as he did and to take on the same challenges.

2. In different ways, they are very hard. Musicals tend to be a little more stagey whereas plays tend to be a bit more interaction between your partner. Really they are even.

3. No (laughs)

4. Singing and dancing, but singing and dancing while walking and chewing gum would be the most difficult.

5. I listen to music and some relaxation techniques. One of the biggest obstacles is tension, so getting rid of the tension and being relaxed is what I usually do.

Bonus: We are crazy, man.


1. The best part was the cast finally coming together and helping out each other.

2. I think they are about the same. It’s just about different challenges and different circumstances. It all has the same efforts.

3. Yes, I have always wanted that and it would be a great accomplishment if we could do it.

4. Neither are hard. They just come naturally.

5. I have a few CDs I listen to. I really get into the mindset of the character and other ritualistic personal rituals.

Bonus: Yes. Definitely.


1. The director [Patricia Ridge] has been a real treat. I have worked with her in past productions and I just enjoy her directing style. She expects a lot from us, and in turn we want to give a lot to her.

2. This is my first musical. It’s been challenging in certain respects. Overall, this has been a really fun experience and I would love to do more musicals in the future.

3. Sure, I think everyone could lighten up a little bit and enjoy music more.

4. Singing and dancing, especially when you have a choreographer [Randall Newsom] who expects a lot from you.

5. Do my homework. Listen to the director. Listen to my acting coach. Listen to all the people who are watching and critiquing and just trying to make them happy.

Bonus: Yes. We are a bunch of crazy guys on the stage and we’re dolls.