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ASU alumni to present original musical in collaboration with community college

Two ASU alumni stand outside, leaning on an A-frame advertising their upcoming show "Subplots"

Sara Matin (left) and Anthony Procopio, who both graduated from the ASU School of Music, Dance and Theatre, will present their musical “Subplots” at Chandler-Gilbert Community College. Photo courtesy Sara Matin and Anthony Procopio

June 16, 2023

Arizona State University alumni Anthony Procopio ('23 BM in composition, music education; BS in psychology) and Sara Matin ('20 BFA in theatre, with a minor in musical theatre) have co-written an original musical that will be presented at Chandler-Gilbert Community College this month. 

“Subplots” tells the story of Carter Dunfire, a high school graduate who receives a rejection letter from her dream school and then turns her energy into saving the family-owned sub shop she loves. Set in the Phoenix area in 2008, the musical is a fun-filled comedy about relationships, persistence and handling the constant swerves of life.

“Teenagers are very fascinating to write about, because they're experiencing so many things for the very first time in their lives," Matin said. "What is it to fall in love for the first time? What is it to lose something for the first time? Naturally the stakes are higher when you're writing for young people, because everything is major to them. And so that was something that inspired us and something we were excited to write.”

ASU was the birthplace for Matin and Procopio’s collaborative work. They met as student workers at ASU Gammage and soon realized their talents and interests complemented each other. During the COVID-19 pandemic, they worked together to develop, rehearse and present an original show, “Leading Ladies,” with Procopio writing the music and Matin writing the lyrics and story. 

They’ve continued to work and create together. “Subplots” started from an intense weekend-long creation session. Matin and Procopio would develop songs together in one room and then send them to another room for the cast to rehearse. In less than 72 hours, they had about an hour of content for the show.

After further development, they presented a workshop version of the show last year in an immersive theatre experience at Casella’s Deli in Scottsdale. Matin said the deli allowed for a closer relationship with the audiences, but that the larger theater provides unique opportunities for the actors and the production.

“Being in a 300-seat theater, you're able to turn on those really powerful comedic levels of musical theater and utilize them to their full extent,” Matin said. “We just pinch ourselves every single day that we're working on this project because it's very, very humbling, and we understand how great an opportunity it is.”

Two people sit behind a piano in a theater looking at each other.

"Subplots," the musical created by Anthony Procopio (left) and Sara Matin, originated during an intense weekend-long creation session.

The cast and crew consist of both ASU and Chandler-Gilbert students. 

“Anthony and I feel incredibly lucky that so many positions are being filled by current students, from our scenic design to our props design to our costume design to the students who are directing with us,” Matin said. “It is just a really powerful and creative community.” 

Adam Robles, an ASU senior in vocal performance, was part of last year’s workshop performance and is reprising his role as Benny Smith in this production. 

“We’ve been able to polish a lot of things in this version,” Robles said. “It has been great to work with everyone again and to further develop these characters. We are really proud to share this performance with audiences.”

Matin and Procopio credit their time at ASU for helping them find success. 

“It's been fascinating how many of the concepts learned in my acting classes have now related both into writing and directing,” Matin said. “The skills you're learning can be applied to so many different aspects of your life. And if you're taking them and applying them that way, you're going to see a lot of success.”

“Subplots” will run June 23–24. Discount tickets are available for ASU students via the student option at the ticketing link.

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