SUNY (State University of New York) Cortland’s Department of Theatre presents their first live performance post-pandemic with the musical Big Fish.

The show features a cast of 24 students (first-year through seniors), an orchestra of six, over 100 costumes, and large, impressive sets. Based on a novel, it tells the story of a traveling salesman who lives life to its fullest, and the musical is described as “overflowing with heart and humor.”

Actor Kyle Rivera calls the story beautiful and hopes audiences do, too.

“I want them to take away that you can be creative and be imaginative with life, you shouldn’t be held down by boundaries” he says.

The show is being directed by Jeff Whiting, who was the Associate Director for the Broadway production of Big Fish, as well as Hair, Bullets Over Broadway, and Young Frankenstein. He also served as the director for the national tours of those productions.

Having a seasoned professional at the helm of the show was a bonus for the theater students.

“It’s such an honor especially at the college level to work with someone so professional” says Aileen Reddy, who is also part of the cast. “He brings in a different expectation and aura that for us to learn from someone who has been there, has done it, and he’s also so kind and welcoming and open to any ideas that we want to bring to the table. He’s very accommodating and just really inspiring, honestly, to work with someone like that.”

If you would like to see Big Fish – shows are Friday, November 19 at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, November 20 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, November 21 at 2 p.m. All shows are at the Dowd Fine Arts Center on the SUNY Cortland campus.

All audience members will be required to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination or proof of a negative PCR test, and will be required to wear face coverings while inside the Dowd Fine Arts Center.

Click here for tickets, which must be purchased online.