Broadway Haven Players Stage First Online Theatrical Performance

The Broadway Haven Players cast during the curtain call for "The Music Man." Photo by Michael Hernandez'17
The Broadway Haven Players cast at the curtain call for "The Music Man" (photo by Michael Hernandez'17)

The Broadway Haven Players, the theater company at Columbia's Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons, will perform a play live online for the first time. Performances of “Enron” from May 6 to 8 are open to the CUIMC community; tickets are available via EventBrite (pay what you can). 

Auditions for the spring show were conducted online in March. "Enron" is the work of British playwright Lucy Prebble and follows the real-life story of how a leading energy company rose to power, culminating in one of the largest corporate scandals in history. Medical student Zach Verne, VP&S Class of 2024, will direct the performance. 

“What initially appealed to me about the piece is that many of the scenes are corporate meetings, press conferences, or corporate parties,” says Verne. “As the pandemic has shaped the corporate world, nearly all these activities are now taking place in a virtual environment and that has made the settings of the play perfect for a Zoom production.” 

Working on the show reinforced Verne’s love of theater, especially at a time when live, in-person performances have mostly been on hold due to the pandemic.  

“Getting to know everyone in the cast and crew has been enjoyable and rewarding even though it has been entirely virtual,” says Verne. “I would say the biggest success of this piece from my perspective is that I have had the opportunity to meet so many different amazing performers and designers continuing to pursue their passion for theater despite our inability to do so on the stage.”

For more than 50 years, the medical school's theater company has performed plays and musicals. The company, which has been featured in the New York Times, convenes students from across the medical center to stage productions. Until the pandemic, the company staged three performances each year, most recently “Spelling Bee” in 2019.