Senior Arielle Sosland Producing, Directing, and Creating Off-Broadway Musical

NYU Steinhardt News

Senior Arielle Sosland Producing, Directing, and Creating Off-Broadway Musical

When senior Arielle Sosland was eight years old, her dad, a psychiatrist, wrote a book to help himself and others believe in themselves. He enlisted Arielle, her sister, Sarah, and his wife, Esther, to make the drawings for the family project. “I say I can. I make a plan. I get right to it. And then I do it!” became the Can Do Duck phrase.

Now 21, and soon to be graduating from NYU Steinhardt’s Program in Educational Theatre, Arielle has created, produced, and directed a stage version of Can Do Duck. The Off-Broadway musical production is playing at the Lynn Redgrave Theater at the Culture Project on Bleecker Street.

Can Do Duck: The Musical is the story of two families, a human family and a duck family. They try new things, work together, and learn to love and accept each other even with their individual differences. The show reflects Arielle's hope to use music and song to spread the simple but important message she learned as a child: that you can do what you put your mind to through the power of saying, "I can."

Arielle started creating Can Do Duck: The Musical during her freshmen year in a class in Educational Theatre called Theatre for Young Audiences (TYA) 2. After receiving positive feedback on the ten-minute version in class, she submitted the show to a TYA festival produced by Lamplighters, an NYU student club. The group won the TYA festival, where they developed the show into a twenty-minute musical. The show then went on to become Lamplighters' Mainstage production in the spring and was developed into a forty-minute musical. The audience for three sold-out performances was filled with families from the Greenwich Village area.

Many NYU students have been involved over the years in the creation of this show and some are still involved today. Adam Miller (Stage Manager, Senior in Steinhardt's MCC), Chelsea Flores (Production Manager/Actor, Junior in Educational Theatre), Haven Mitchell-Rose (Marketing Director, Senior in Educational Theatre), Dan Mollett (Music Director, Graduate Student in Steinhardt's Piano Studies program), Liana Costable (Education Director/Actor, Junior in Educational Theatre), Max Hoffman (Lead Actor, Freshman in Tisch) Max Hoffman (Lead Actor, Freshman in Tisch), Zak Ferentz (Actor, Graduate Student in Educational Theatre), Dan Walsh (Actor, Senior in Educational Theatre), Emma Romasco (Actor, Sophomore in Tisch), Angelina Kelly (Actor, Freshman in Tisch), Bridget Greaney (Videographer/Video Promotions, Senior in Tisch), Tal Etedgi (Assistant Stage Manager, Senior in Gallatin), and Neal Goleta (Sound Technician, Senior in Music Technology).

The New York Times recommended the play in its Spare Times column.