Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Advertise in our classifieds section
Your classified listing could be here!
October 4, 2022

Creative Arts + Theatre Committee investigates beast in woods during spring production ‘Accidental Monster Hunter’s Guide to Magical Phenomena’

Manoo Sirivelu
The cast and crew of “Accidental Monster Hunter’s Guide to Magical Phenomena” stand for a portrait on the WCP auditorium stage on Sunday. The musical is the final production from the Creative Arts + Theater Committee this spring. It features a student written script blending magic, comedy, mystery and pop music.

In a small town called Westfield, something sinister lurks within the trees. When teenagers begin to go missing, a group of college students set out for the woods to discover the source of the disappearance. 

Creative Arts + Theater Committee will present their spring production and final show of the semester,The Accidental Monster Hunter’s Guide to Magical Phenomena,” this Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 7-10 p.m. in the WCP Auditorium. The student-written jukebox musical will feature songs like “Wait for Me” from “Hadestown”, a Broadway show reimagining the myth of Orpheus and Swedish pop band ABBA.

Producer and history junior Matilda Herrera Ramirez said ABBA’s energetic and familiar discography features throughout the show. Herrera Ramirez said she particularly loves the tango ballad musical number when the college students make a deal with The Beast of the Woods, set to the track, “Lay All Your Love On Me.” 

“(ABBA) is just something everyone knows,” Herrera Ramirez said. “Even people that I’m sure were like, ‘Oh, I don’t really listen to music or I’m not like a musical person,’ They’re like, ‘I know ABBA,’ So it’s also I think just very easy for people to learn and pick up because almost everyone’s grown up hearing at least one ABBA song.”

Hidden among the magic forest, Herrera Ramirez said The Beast, inspired by shows like “Over the Garden Wall,” makes appearances at first through dramatic shadows and sounds to build tension.

“(The Beast) has been here as long as the trees have been here,” Herrera Ramirez said. “The town moved in on the woods, and the Beast and the woods are attacking back.”

Concurrent with the supernatural storyline, the show also features a sapphic relationship between two characters Nora and Echo, played by English sophomore Sophia Moscoso and speech, language, and hearing sciences and advanced human development and family sciences junior Izzy Costello. Before landing the role, Moscoso said she chemistry read with four other Echoes before landing on Izzy Costello, the perfect romantic counterpart. Moscoso said she appreciated the opportunity to showcase lesbian representation often left out by the mainstream media and the relatability of her character’s struggles.

“There’s a whole monster murder mystery going on, and the whole time she’s just like, ‘I don’t know what to do after college, what if I don’t get a job?’” Moscoso said. “I think that’s something that a lot of UT students especially can relate to. The rest of the world is in shambles, but all you care about is your tunnel vision future.”

Fight choreographer, actor, international relations and Plan II sophomore Kaz Elenes plays Tandy, a sarcastic and skeptical character who loves to wear colorful skirts and cardigans and works closely with Farmer Collins.

“I try to be less dismissive than (Tandy) tend(s) to be, and I would absolutely love to go on a weird investigation in the woods while they’re not so into it,” Elenes said.

Elenes said he loves that the show features a student-written script, a trademark for several CA+T productions because the playwright gains essential writing experience and gets to be uniquely involved in the show’s direction. 

“Getting to watch your friends’ visions come to life has been so much fun because these are things that you’ve been hearing about and people have been excited about for months,” Elenes said. “There’s just so much fun and self-expression, and the things they write tend to be very relatable because it’s a college student speaking to another college student.”

More to Discover