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Wednesday, September 27, 2023


‘Undergrad’ comes to UH

The cast of "Undergrad the Musical" prepares for their show at a dress rehearsal Tuesday night. | Travis Hensley/The Daily Cougar

Undergrad the Musical is coming to Cullen Performance Hall at 6:30 p.m. Friday.

One of the most spectacular aspects of the performance is the talent of young director Chris Davis.

Davis became passionate about entertaining an audience at age 4 while putting on his own version of the Disney Classic Aladdin for his parents. While at Dobie High School, he was a member of a step team and helped choreograph its routines. He later attended Sam Houston State University, where he was given his first opportunity to present Undergrad the Musical.

“At Sam Houston State, Undergrad the Musical was just a fundraiser for an organization I was a part of,” Davis said. “It did very well there and I was given the gracious opportunity to present my work on a larger scale here in Houston through the Urban Experience director Robbie Evans.

Undergrad the Musical is a compelling account about college life and many of the challenging issues college students face. This musical tells a very unique and dynamic story while exploring, explaining, and disproving many cultural stereotypes.”

The show follows two college freshman, Dru Stone and Damian Buchanan, as they experience their first semester in college and the life lessons they learn.

Undergrad the Musical hopes to expose the truth about cliques and social values, while providing a realistic edge and upbeat tempo,” Davis said. “The play incorporates song, dance, suave characters and real-life dramatizations.

As the writer, director and choreographer, Davis drew inspiration from his own life in college, as well as that of some of his friends. One of the most important things is his drive and dedication to himself as an artist, he said.

“I made a pledge to myself to always be different and too always try to be positive and walk down the right path in life,” Davis said.

Davis had an open casting call for the show in January at Oberholtzer Hall.

“I did auditions differently from a typical audition,” Davis said. “Instead of sitting in a chair and listening to them do something they have always done for every high school talent show they were in, I used a series of mimicking exercises that covered a wide array of emotion.

“From a psychological standpoint, I want to see who would be charismatic and who would take risks and step outside of (the) comfort zone society constantly stays in when we audition for things,” Davis said.

After the casting, Davis and his crew went hard to work at rehearsals to bring the show to life.

“I was very assertive and aggressive with my style of directing, choreographing and rehearsals,” Davis said. “I made everything as simple and as clear as I possibly could, given the amount of time we had.”

Davis hopes that Friday’s performance will be a springboard to future success.

“I want to continue to perfect my craft,” he said. “I want to gain a better understanding of entertainment and continue to grow as a writer, director, choreographer and songwriter.

“I feel like the world has limitless possibilities to engage in.”

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