Behind the Curtains: “Blood Brothers” Musical Secrets and Significance

Starting Wednesday, March 20, the Waynesburg University Department of Fine Arts will present the musical, ‘Blood Brothers,’ as the director and cast take the audience on a roller coaster of emotions through the lives of long-lost brothers. 

There are many people involved to make a production like this go on, from the actors to the director and everything that goes on behind the scenes.

“My passion in theater started years ago,” said Edward Powers, director of theater, “I even appeared in Christmas plays at church when I was younger.” Powers received his Master of Fine Arts (MFA) at the University of Memphis, this really sparked his excitement and desire to direct and teach the art of theater. 

Powers has been involved with Waynesburg theater for quite some time. He has taught for 24 years and directed 23 musicals at the University. “During the pandemic we could not do a musical, only a play,” he said. Since then, he has gotten the theater department up and running in full swing, putting on a musical and a play every year since. 

Powers has had fond memories for the musicals he has directed in the past, with some of his favorites being “West Side Story” in 2006, “Guys and Dolls” in 2007 and “Into the Woods” in 2012. 

In 1991, Powers saw the musical, “Blood Brothers” in London. He decided this year would be the perfect time to finally put it on. The story is centered around two brothers who were separated at a young age. One lives a very fruitful and plentiful life with wealth, while the other grows up in a lower income, not so fortunate environment. 

“We have the same actors playing the eight-year-olds as we do the adults,” Powers mentioned when asked what he was most excited about for this year’s show. He believes in the use of actors to their full potential, allowing these actors to really feel the role they are put into and the emotions that these characters embody. 

There is a real meaning or message behind this musical according to Powers, “The show tells us that we need to value our lives and we need to value one another.” 

Many people involved in theater come from various fields of study around campus. For instance, Haley Pattison, a freshman Marine Biology major is one of the lead roles in the show. She states, “I’ve always loved theater. It is a fun outlet for me, and I really enjoy doing it.” 

Pattison is casted as the narrator of the musical along with having roles as various side characters. She began to get into theater during her junior year of high school and hasn’t stopped since, “I’ve always said I’ll follow theater wherever it takes me.” Pattison said, as she is very excited about “Blood Brothers” being picked for this year’s musical. “It has a really cool story, with a really interesting group of people.” 

Many of those involved in the Department of Fine Arts are excited about this year’s production of “Blood Brothers,” as this is Powers’ centennial production at Waynesburg University. The musical will take the stage March 20 to 23, at 7:30 p.m. in the Goodwin Performing Arts Center. Reservations and tickets for this show are to be announced soon.