Charles Henderson grad Jon Alloway stars in Troy University’s ‘Jekyll & Hyde’

Published 1:48 pm Monday, May 1, 2023

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In April, Troy University Theatre and Dance provided audiences with its own rendition of the 1990s “Jekyll & Hyde” musical, featuring a starring performance from Troy native John Alloway.

Alloway portrayed the role of Dr. Jekyll in the musical, which featured a live orchestra, creative set design, beautiful costume designs and a “steampunk” inspired atmosphere. The role of Jekyll was Alloway’s first musical and first leading role at Troy.

“It was definitely stressful but it also made me feel better about the talent I possess,” Alloway said. “I wasn’t expecting (the leading role) but it sort of showed me that other people see the potential in me.”

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Troy’s rendition of Jekyll and Hyde ran from April 12 through April 18. Alloway is only a freshman at Troy and Director Tommy Newman said that he landed the part because Newman knew he could be trusted because of his work ethic.

“John is exceptionally talented and he came in with the right kind of spirit and vibe and a really great work ethic that I saw from him in the fall,” Newman said. “I knew I could depend on him and that’s a large part of why he landed that role, not just because he could sing the part. He obviously could sing it but I knew he had that great work ethic and is very smart and is studied and was going to do well in his classes in addition to doing well in the role.”

Alloway is a Charles Henderson High School graduate. (Submitted photo)

Newman said he was proud of the way the show turned out.

“I’m very proud of (Alloway) and the whole team,” he said. “I thought the show did exactly what we set out to do. It was very rewarding in the end and I think we did as much as we could have done with it.”

Alloway also said he was proud of the way the show turned out.

“I think it went pretty well,” he said. “I was not as confident as I wanted to be at the start but that’s just usually how I am. Seeing the response that everyone had to it definitely made me feel better about the work I was doing and I think it ended up going pretty well.”

The original “Jekyll & Hyde” musical was featured on Broadway in the 1990s but was not a critical success. The music, however, was. The music also resonated with Troy’s students in the production.

“What I discovered working on the material with the students was that they loved the music,” said Newman. “They came day one pumped to sing the score. It really was great and is one of my favorite albums growing up. From day one, the students came ready to attack it and did a great job.

“The other thing about it is I discovered that the material is really fun and appeals to people in a deeper way than I think I expected it to. I think it resonated with people and we had a really good audience throughout the run of the show. I think a lot of that was in part due to the incredible performances of the students that honed and shaped it with their blood, sweat and tears.”

Alloway, a theatre major, attended and graduated from Charles Henderson High School and fell in love with theatre in high school.

“I’ve always been interested in it and I’ve been signing and performing in some capacity since I was really young,” Alloway recalled. “I didn’t really know (theatre) was a thing, though, until I went to Charles Henderson my freshman year of high school and found my way to the department because I had to take a theatre class. I just fell in love with being on stage.”

Alloway was the next in a long list of Troy natives and Charles Henderson graduates that have landed starring roles in Troy Theatre and Dance’s productions.

“What’s interesting is we grow great talent in Troy, Alabama,” Newman said. “We cast a lot of hometown leads at Troy and it’s not for political reasons. It’s not unusual for us because we have some really incredible, talented students that come from Troy who we are so proud of and have seen grow, not just as students of our program.

“We’ve been fostering them even before that with the Summer Spotlight and the Center Stagers that are downtown. There is a lot of theatre education in Troy.”

After landing his first lead at Troy, Alloway doesn’t plan to stop there.

“Being the lead was challenging but with the response it was given I felt like it allowed me to be proud of what I’m doing and sort of told me that there are other people that see that I can do it, as well,” Alloway said. “I hope to perform on the stage as long as I can. Right now, I’m getting into writing and am working on scripts and I also write music. I hope to do something with hat in the future, as well.