What’s next for student-run Iceberg Theatre Company: ‘Colorado: The Musical’

From the same student-run theatre company that brought you “Global Warming: The Musical” comes their newest hit: Colorado.


(Photo courtesy Iceberg Theatre Company)

Jessica M. Barker, Campus Deputy Editor

When you hear Colorado, you probably think of picturesque views in a sky-high state, but after the Iceberg Theatre Company’s newest project, you’ll be thinking of a modern musical as well.

Bryce Palmer, a sophomore theatre major, has written what will be the second student-written musical to be performed by the Iceberg Theatre Company, Vanderbilt’s only producer of student-written works. Along with Palmer’s music director, junior Blair student Daniel Meza, the company will produce the college student coming-of-age piece “Colorado: The Musical.” The play is expected to premiere Mar. 13 and 14 at 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. both days in Sarratt Cinema.The company’s first show, “Global Warming: the Musical,” written by junior Foster Swartz, was performed earlier this year. 

Palmer said that the collaborative musical effort began as a testimony of his own experiences on Vanderbilt’s campus. One rainy morning in April, Swartz drove Palmer to the library where they each sat down and wrote their unique shows.

“This was my first time writing any work of theatre,” Palmer said. “It has been a rocky process, but I think that was to be expected.” 

Palmer had some key facts about the show that were worth noting; firstly, although Colorado is in the title of the work, the show does not take place in Colorado for even one second. Likewise, he noted that the show will not chiefly focus on marijuana.

Musically, Daniel Meza took inspiration from big Broadway names and popular, contemporary productions. Among other inspirations, he cites composer Jason Robert Brown’s work as well as “Dear Evan Hansen” and “Hamilton” as big influences on its sound. Trying to embody the high energy of these shows while also staying inventive has been tough for Meza, but working with Palmer has helped him get through it.

“When we would try to come up with a new song, it was difficult trying not to make each song sound like the next,” Meza said. “It’s probably been one of the most collaborative music-writing processes. We always sit together and we’ll just talk about the song and Bryce will give me his ideas, and there is not one bit of music that has not been contributed by both.”

Auditions for “Colorado: The Musical” will be held from 6-8 p.m. in Buttrick 204 Nov. 13 and Buttrick 205 Nov. 14 and 15. Those interested should prepare a 30-90 second piece that best showcases their singing ability. The piece does not have to be of a specific style, nor is any prior experience necessary in order to audition.