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Vacarizas Goes Military For Major Role in Musical


Dogfight the musical is centered around three Marines, known as the Three Bees, who engage in a contest called Dogfight. The object is simple: bring the ugliest girl to the party as your date. The Three Bees consists of characters, Birdlace (played by Sean Royal), Boland (played bySam Boatwright) and Bernstein (played by Gershom Vacarizas).

For the cast of UT’s production of Dogfight, the preparations for opening night began as soon as the cast was announced. For junior musical theatre and business management major, Gershom Vacarizas, the work was well worth the opportunity he had been given to play a major role.

“This show is probably one of my milestone performances,” Vacarizas said. “I can’t wait to share this with people. It’s like unveiling a big project you have been working on.”

Vacarizas is excited to have his friend junior criminal justice major Nicholas Falduto, who recently played Konstantin Treplief in The Seagull, see the show. They were both supportive of each other when preparing for the audition process, especially when both received major roles.

“We were each other’s hype-man during the audition process,” Vacarizas said. “To have someone standing in your corner from audition day to opening night is a feeling that I will always hold closely to my heart.”

Vacarizas and members of the cast playing Marines decided to take great strides to become their characters. This included researching workout requirements, waking up at 7 a.m. to work out together and implementing diet regimen that involved controlling junk food and carb intake.


According to Vacarizas, his character, Bernstein, will bring comic relief to the audience with his inexperience and witty commentary. Bernstein takes great honor in going off to war and is consumed with coming home victorious because he believes it will be the moment he becomes a man.

For Vacarizas, being casted in Dogfight is a great opportunity, but it comes with hardships. The musical requires mainly tenor vocals for the men in the cast. According to Vacarizas, Dogfight has proven to be one of his most challenging shows, vocally. The first few week of rehearsals were dedicated to the music.

Beyond the hard work, Vacarizas has managed to make an impact on fellow cast members including junior musical theatre major, Sean Royal. According to Royal, Vacarizas is extremely supportive and helpful when making decisions about portraying his character and finding meaning behind certain scenes.

“It has been such a blast working with him.” Royal said. “I’ve always wanted to be in a show with him because he is crazy talented and now we get to combine our talents together and put on an amazing show.”

For Vacarizas, being Bernstein has allowed him to explore his untapped talents. He is excited to take the audience on a journey through this fun show and the many emotions they will experience during the production.

“The moment we can take UT on that ride with us is going to be so special,” Vacarizas said.

Dogfight will be shown at Falk Theater on April 21 and 23 at 8 p.m. and will have a final show on April 24 at 2 p.m.

Katelyn Massarelli can be reached at

About Jordan Walsh (34 Articles)
University of Tampa Words+Music

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