Musical revue features Taylor Swift songs to help college students shake it off when coping with issues at school

Anusha Lalani

Taylor Swift’s music, which ranges from songs about growing up to heartbreaks and life in general, will be featured in the musical production “Red Hot Collegiate Summer: A Musical Revue!” The production will premiere tonight at the Black Box Theater in the Student Activity Center.

The musical, put on by Event and Entertainment’s Creative Arts + Theatre, is focused on a fictional collegiate summer camp called Camp Swift, where college students of various backgrounds will gather to learn about leadership, communication and organizational skills. In the end, the student who demonstrates all of the skills will be awarded a scholarship.

Sociology and anthropology sophomore Xavier Durham, the musical’s producer, said the production focuses on the everyday issues that are present in modern society, especially in a college setting.

“We have queer relationships, closet alcoholism, and those are two things that we want to tackle but in a very tactile way to show that these aren’t just these vague fictional things,” Durham said. “We want to show that these can be individuals that live everyday lives, have everyday problems.”

Durham said he expects about 70 people to show up for each performance.

English junior Katrina Agudo, playwright for the production, said she decided to focus on Taylor Swift and her music because of the deeper meanings behind the artist’s popular hits.

“[Her songs] are personal narratives as if she had plucked pages from her diary and is choosing to share these ideas that she has with the public. I love how extremely shameless she is in talking about issues such as bullying, heart break, finding love, finding yourself and being a confident woman. I have so much respect for her because rarely in this day and age are you still allowed to be your own person as an artist.”

Alyssa Quiles, journalism freshman and cast member, said she hopes the audience will take away a sense of individuality from the show. 

“The main [message] that sticks out to me is to be yourself,” Quiles said. “Don’t be afraid to be who you are; it doesn’t matter if you look dumb or if you think you look dumb, and you probably don’t. If you think you’re not going to [make it], just stick it out.”

The show is free to all UT students and will hold performances until Saturday.