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Understudy gets her chance

December 2013

All is well until someone comes down with the whooping cough.

Sophomore Andrea Rivera initially was cast as "Rover" in St. Ambrose University's upcoming production of Toy Camp. The children's show is filled with toys dancing and singing to lively music, figuring out how to be better toys. The character "Rover" inspires the group of toys with an upbeat, Elvis-impersonating tune, "Things are Ruff All Over." It's hard to get your groove on when feeling under the weather.

Things certainly were "ruff" for Rivera just before technical week. At first, she just had a cold. It then evolved into a sinus infection, getting worse every day. With her asthma, it was difficult to breathe properly when dancing and singing. She has gotten better, but not fully recovered.

"I'm barely at my 100% at this point in time," Rivera says. "But I am thrilled to be a part of the production, and to have an understudy who is so talented."

Sophomore Becca Brazel was excited and nervous to take on the role of Rivera's understudy in such a short time span. She learned all of the lines, songs, and choreography of "Rover" within a week.

"My time as an understudy has been very enjoyable," Brazel said. "The cast made me feel like I had been a part of the show since the beginning."

And it is almost as if she had been. Brazel created her own flare to "Rover," adding a new level of discoveries to the rehearsal process.

"We love Becca. Plus, having a different actor each night spices things up," said fellow cast member, sophomore Jordan McGinnis.

Rivera is feeling better, so she will still be playing "Rover" for the majority of the performances. However, Brazel's "Rover" will be featured at the Friday's children's show performance, as well as for this Sunday's performance for the public.

The show itself will not be "ruff," but will have you howling for more.

Toy Camp will be produced for the public December 7 and 8 at 3 p.m. Tickets are $8 for adults, $7 for faculty/staff/alumni/senior citizens, $7 for non-SAU students/children, $6 for groups, and SAU students with current valid student ID are free. Tickets can be purchased by calling the box office at 563-333-6251.

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