Rachel E McLean

JO304 Portfolio

BU On Broadway Welcomes Newcomers for Their Biggest Show Yet

For the first time in BU On Broadway‘s history, the theater group sold out two, almost three, performances of their spring show, Legally Blonde, and the main actress, Marisa Bingham, COM ’17, had never starred in a BU On Broadway (OB) production before.

“I had auditioned for a couple of things before and didn’t get in, but third time’s the charm,” said Bingham.

Her previous stage experience was limited to high school theater performances, but when she auditioned for the role of Elle Woods, the gap between her senior year of high school and senior year of college was unnoticeable.

“[When I pitched this show] I had no idea of anyone in mind who could be Elle,” said Izzy Weinberg, COM ’19, the director of the production. “Luckily, Marisa is absolutely amazing. No one else could ever play Elle Woods.”

Bingham wasn’t the only OB newcomer to headline in the show. Gabrielle Oates, COM ’18, starred as Pilar, one of Elle’s sorority sisters, which is a character that requires a high level of energy and enthusiasm to play.

“I had been in one musical before in my life,” said Oates. “I did that my sophomore year of high school, and the director was a grown adult in his 40’s.”

To Oates, the direction of OB feels more like a friendship in comparison to her other experience, making it easier for cast, crew and leadership to communicate with one another. Of the overall experience she said, “I wish I had done it sooner.”

Other newcomers included Hannah Clark, COM ’17, who played Kate, and Christy Osler, COM ’18, who was in the ensemble. Both of whom, similarly to Bingham and Oates, hadn’t starred in a theater production since high school.

“I was a little bit nervous at first because I was a little bit rusty,” said Clark. “I also sort of had the impression that the show would already be cast because they knew who would be auditioning.”

Weinberg cast a total of seven actors out of a 26 person cast that had never starred in an OB show before.

“I’m new. There’s a lot of other talented people. I don’t know if I should even audition,” said Osler about her thoughts before auditioning. “I auditioned, and I am so happy I got into the show because it’s so hard to even get into a show…I’ve loved learning the songs. I’ve loved learning the dances.”

The camaraderie among the cast and crew is clear, as they worked on the show for three months for three performances on April 6,7 and 8.

“I don’t see how anyone can come into this group and not have it be the best experience of the college career because it’s purely the best thing,” said Weinberg.


Hopkinton: The Start of the Boston Marathon

Once a year, a town that normally has a population 14,925 is flooded with 30,000 runners  from 99 countries and countless spectators for the start of the Boston Marathon. Since 1897, Hopkinton, Mass. has been the starting point for competitive and casual runners alike on their journey to Boston. The weekend prior to the main event, the town hosts a small festival of local vendors in preparation of race day.

Many vendors have been in the same spot for years and use the marathon as an opportunity to support small businesses. A number of people who are found on the Hopkinton Town Common prior to the race are locals who grew up watching the marathon and have even run it in the past. The marathon has become a part of Hopkinton’s culture, and many residents use it as an identifier for the town.

The festivities set up the weekend prior to the Marathon are meant to draw in people in the area to get them excited about the marathon and Hopkinton, according Pam Aggerbeck of Cape Cod Coffee, a vendor at the marathon start.  “This is a big event for, not just the runners, but for the families and everyone associated with it,” said Jan Aggerbeck of Cape Cod Coffee. “We’ve talked to people from all over the world. It’s a very international event.”

News Track: It’s a Nice Night for Surfing. Beware of Sharks.

For this week’s News Track, I am looking at the article, It’s a Nice Night for Surfing. Beware of Sharks, which was in the center of the New York Times home page. The photos for this article are stunning. The header image is a huge photo with an incredible range colors and the surfer lit up in the center.


Lower down in the article, there is a rotating set of portraits of the surfers with a green tinted light. There is also an option to zoom into the other images, which is a nice addition to the piece. It is a very visual story, and the images being large and enhanceable makes it even more interactive and engaging for the reader.

As always, there is the option the share and comment on the article. The one thing I found interesting about this article, is that there is only one link in the article and it links to a short YouTube video.

News Track: Senate Republicans Deploy ‘Nuclear Option’ to Clear Path for Gorsuch

The multimedia elements of the New York Times in the recent article “Senate Republicans Deploy ‘Nuclear Option’ to Clear Path for Gorsuch” includes multiple multimedia elements that add to the story. The header image is a photo with the option to click and turn it into a live stream video of the Senate.

They embedded fewer links in this article than in other articles, which I think is detrimental because this is a hot topic and people will likely want to read more about difference aspects of it and the parties involved. The pages they do link to are still linked in the same way where it redirects you to another page taking you away from the current article. They need to update that so they aren’t bringing people away from the content they are currently reading especially when links are embedded at the start of the article.

There are actually no single images embedded in this article. Following the header image/video, there is another video embedded closer to the middle of the article. There is also the updating graphic at the bottom of the article tracking comments. This is an interesting addition for this article, in particular, because it has such a hight number of comments. There is also a graphic which links to another page on “How Senators Voted on the Gorsuch Filibuster and the Nuclear Option,” which adds another element of multimedia interaction.

News Track: Xi Jinping, ‘Brexit,’ Samsung Galaxy: Your Thursday Briefing

In this article, there is a multitude of multimedia elements. It is a briefing of things the reader needs to know. It has many images, links and widgets. There is a even a widget that sets to your local weather. Every paragraph has text that is linked to another page, so the reader can furtimages.jpgher explore a bulleted story in the list. There is also an option to sign up for the daily newsletter. At the middle of the post, there is the option to listen to all the news listed and more by listening to The Daily podcast. There is also a video below it within the “Noteworthy” section of the




Facebook Page

Here is a link to my professional Facebook page.


Final Quote

“It’s so easy. I wasn’t a theatre kid in high school, so it’s easy to feel intimidated for people.”

“I wish I had done it sooner.”



Final Project Research

I made a storify of the social media pages and websites affiliated with BU on Broadway’s production of Legally Blonde.
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News Track: London Attacker Identified as Khalid Masood

The latest New York Times article covering the terror attack in London, published by 

Photo Credit: derwiki on Pixabay

When the article comes up on the home page, the first thing you see is a graphic of the area tracking the progression of the attack, but when you open the article the first image is of police investigators on the lawn of the Palace of Westminster.

In the first paragraph, they link to one of the first articles the New York Times released on the attack. However, the link doesn’t open to a new page, so if a reader clicks on the link to learn more about the first updates of the attack they are drawn away from this more in depth analysis of the events and attacker.

The next element a reader comes across is a video by Reuters on Prime Minister Theresa May’s response to the attack. It is a short video of her addressing Parliament. The next element that the reader comes across is an audio segment from “The Daily” that includes detailing the scene of the attack.

The last multimedia elements readers come across is another video made by a Times journalist about terror attacks in Europe and an image of police officers gathered together with the London Eye in the background. They also include a few things such as a call-to-action to sign up for their newsletter called “The Interpreter” on understanding major news stories, which is a smart element to include because the terror attack in London is a huge news story that many people will be discussing for the weeks to come.

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