Brody Pierce –

When it comes to business, most people go to college to learn a trade. Others learn from experience. J. Pierrepont Finch learned from a book. “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying” (HSB) is the latest musical directed by Melissa Kneeland brought to you by the Menomonie Theater Guild (MTG). The musical tells the story of an aspiring businessman, J. Pierrepont Finch, striving to make it to the top with the help of a small self-help book of the same title. The production is a comedy and shows the cleverness needed in order to outwit the business world.

Melissa Kneeland, the director of this upcoming play, has been in theater since she was in elementary school and has been going strong ever since. Kneeland even has a BFA in Classical Acting. She chose to do How to Succeed in Business because it fit well with the last play MTG did which was Guys and Dolls. Kneeland also mentioned that the commentary of HSB encompasses multiple areas. “It’s a play where you can really think and also have a great time,” Kneeland said in regard to the overall feel of the production.

The cast and crew of How to Succeed in Business consists of many different faces and talents with Finch being played by Jeffery Peterson and Rosemary being played by Kayla Boyd, who is one of the many lead women in the cast. Other cast members include Steve Nold playing the part of JB Biggley, Sara Bauer playing the part of Hedy LaRue and Katie Wagner as Rosemary’s friend Smitty. These individuals all had their own reasons for participating in this production. Some found that a certain character called out to them while reading the musical while others wanted to have one last production with MTG. The later pertains mainly to Kayla Boyd since she will be graduating this spring with a bachelor of science in applied science with a concentration in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and a minor in Computer Science.

The cast and crew have worked long hours on this production despite the immense amount of snow that Menomonie has gotten over the last few weeks. “The cast is very professional and when they come, they are ready to work.” Kneeland said when asked about the cast of the musical, that she was not alone. Many of the cast agree with her on how hard everyone works whether it’s at home or at MTG rehearsals. Katie Wagner had commented on how hard the crew, the musical director, the pit and countless others have worked in order to make this show a reality and how grateful she and the rest of the cast are for their support in the production.

The production takes opens March 1 starting 7:30 p.m. with general admission of $20 and $18 for students, seniors and military. “Come out and support the Menomonie Theater Guild,” said Peterson. “These people provide a great service to the community and would not be able to put on such amazing shows without viewer support.”