You could call Tim Guillot ambitious, but that would be an understatement. Guillot, a senior majoring in music with minors in theater and creative writing, will soon perform in the self-written, self-directed musical “Always & Never.” The show is his senior thesis, and its only performance is this Sunday.
The musical is about two brothers coping with the loss of their parents in a tragic accident, and is based on a story Guillot has been developing since his freshman year. Guillot said writing the music and lyrics has been a very personal experience, and he believes in the show’s message. He did not want to just create entertainment; he wanted to give his audience something to leave the theater thinking about. Plus, he promises that the play has a “really big twist – a motherfucker of a twist.”
While he has plenty of musical experience through playing drums for Colonial Brass and theater credibility from performing with Generic Theater Company, Guillot got his first taste of real playwriting at last fall’s New Plays Festival. The one-act play he had written was selected, and he got the opportunity to direct his own work.
Writing his first musical has definitely been a giant undertaking, however. “Always & Never” is the first time Guillot has been responsible for each aspect of producing a show. “I took on a lot, and I knew that it would be a lot of work,” he said. Since December, Guillot has spent most of his free time scoring the musical – the process of recording notes and lyrics to prepare it for actors and a band. He said he feels the pressure, but is excited to hear people’s reactions when it comes to life on stage.
He said he is always thinking of new ideas for plays – a good thing since he is headed to New York University’s Tisch Musical Theater Writing graduate program next year. Once there, he will focus on composing music and lyrics in a collaborative environment with respected Broadway notables as his faculty.
During a rehearsal for “Always & Never,” Guillot and three others in the cast were directing a fight scene in which the two brothers are in heated disagreement. The music is very aggressive, while the words are cutting and hypnotic. Then, just like that, the scene stopped and the cast was goofing around like good friends. Guillot had pre-cast the show, saying he was grateful that his friends agreed to participate.
Before returning to business, he said, “We’re having fun, and that’s the important thing.”
“Always & Never” will be performed this Sunday, April 27 at 7:30 p.m. at the Marvin Center Betts Theater. The show is free and open to the public.