A fun comedy musical from across the pond filmed entirely on mobile phones, USUCC is set in the world of school, and is written and directed by Brian Ryu and Julia Krom. The lyrics are by Kyra Madden and the music is by Eunike Tanzil, with choreography by Cristyn Dang.
Five performers recorded and performed their parts in their homes across the USA: Ian Parker plays Charlie, Jake Ellsworth is Nick, Hannah Duran is Emily, Kevin Harrara is Michael, and Amanda Kristin Cox is Hannah the Hound.
Utilising multiple takes across Zoom and multitasking to get the production looking and sounding its best, this small team have produced a short (under an hour) comedy which is guaranteed to leave you with a smile and a warm glow.
Hannah is a particularly strong character, but there’s also untapped potential in Emily, and the quirks and functions of Zoom are explored with a tongue in cheek style. We all know about gatekeepers and rooms, and the ability to leave a meeting at the touch of a button.
Does USUCC reflect a comedic view on what goes on in academia? Watching Hannah’s students get the better of her, while duplicitous Michael plots in the background, I’d give an unqualified yes, but this is at the extreme of what you might see in the education sector.
The songs are effective for the character arcs on show, but as individual pieces they are not particularly memorable. What matters here is the enthusiasm of making theatre work on seperate screens, and USUCC certainly achieves that.
USUCC is produced by HOCACA TV and is available on their YouTube channel. My thanks to Brian and Julia for providing early access to the film.