Sweeney Todd

Sweeney Todd
Fall, 2008
Written By: Hugh Wheeler (Book) & Stephen Sondheim (Music/Lyrics)
Directed By: John Clum

Director John Clum said, as he prepared to direct the Hugh Wheeler/Stephen Sondheim musical Sweeney Todd, “The theater studies department had been talking for years about working with the student musical organization Hoof ‘n’ Horn, and finally it’s happening.”  Hoof ‘n’ Horn, the student-run musical group and Duke institution for more than 70 years, enjoyed the rare opportunity to collaborate with Clum and many other professionals in the joint production with theater studies, which ran in the R.J. Reynolds Industries Theater in October and November 2009. The colorful set with the tilted London skyline was designed by Jayme Mellema, visiting lecturer in design, and the Victorian costumes with the futuristic edge were by guest designer Chris Mueller. Fight direction was by Jeff A.R. Jones, who was also instrumental in designing the “blood effects”—an integral element in Sweeney Todd. Leonard Cruz, visiting professor in the dance department, choreographed the show, and George Lam, PhD candidate in the music department, was musical director, with his group, the Duke New Music Ensemble, in the pit.