BU Players Reenacts “A Year With Frog & Toad”


Anna Watson, Carly Busfield, & Sarah Devitz, Staff Writers

“If you don’t believe it, no one else is gonna believe it.”

The BU Players recently showed their musical take on “A Year with Frog & Toad” at the theatre downtown. The cast members have dedicated a large amount of time to this rendition of a beloved, well-known children’s story. Members of The Voice were invited to see the show along with another staff member viewing for class.

To embark on the journey of preparing a show, actors have their own routine to prepare besides their warm-ups together. Johanna Gelbs (playing Bird, Turtle, and a Mole ) and Mary Burnett (playing Young Frog, Squirrel, and puppeteer ) must prepare and enter the right mental mindset before any showcase. These two students play a variety of characters throughout the show. As they switch their costume wear each scene, the actresses embark onto a new identity to immerse themselves into. 

Before the show, the cast mem bers like to arrive early enough to have time to relax and settle into the stage area. Gelbs emphasized the need for a healthy headspace. “I think it’s important to check in with yourself because sometimes when there’s a lot going on, it can be easy to get overwhelmed and caught up in it. Burnett, who portrayed Young Frog, Squirrel, and a puppeteer,  prides herself on eating a good meal beforehand and even makes playlists to dive into character. Burnett continued to share, “I will incorporate them into my routine and that helps me connect to the show as a whole.” 

Burnett shared ideas of how to put importance into the roles you play. “Frog & Toad” may be a simple story, but a lot of analysis has gone into each and every animal, scenery, prop, and more. That was really reflected within the show itself. A lot of belief instilled into the cast comes from Carrie Winship, who encouraged each of them to do their best each day. 

BU Player’s performance of A Year With Frog and Toad was an absolute delight of a show to see. With Rebekah Vermuelen as Frog and Drew Rehrig as Toad, they worked wonderfully together to bring the story to life. The show was joyful to watch. The cast as a whole did an amazing job and kept the audience engaged. This show brought to life the Frog and Toad children’s books, and while traditionally it would seem to be for kids, this rendition was good for any age. The music was accompanied by a live band, and while the show did seem to use some digital sound effects it added more to the experience.

Two notable performances were obviously from both Vermuelen and Rehrig playing Frog and Toad. Both actors worked well together and brought the relationship of Frog and Toad to life. The duo had an outstanding performance. Vermuelen had an amazing voice and Rehrig played Toad perfectly. 

Dr. Winship did a fantastic job directing this musical, it’s clear she dedicated a lot of time to assure the best performance from each member of the cast. One personal favorite part of the musical was “I’m Coming Out Of My Shell”, which was performed by Olivia Spory who was playing Snail. Spory’s performance really brought joy to the room in the way they played Snail. Followed by their amazing acting, they also performed the song beautifully as well. 

Altogether, this performance was definitely worth going to see, every actor brought their own unique twist to the characters which added to the experience. The musical was very upbeat and family-friendly so it was great for any age to go and watch, while not overly childish with parts everyone could enjoy.