The University of Dayton presented the world premiere of Spectacle, a new original musical about the founding of the Society of Mary, April 20-22 in the Kennedy Union Boll Theatre on campus. Set during and after the French Revolution, Spectacle tells the story of the three Marianist co-founders: Chaminade, who risked death by secretly continuing his priestly ministry under persecution from the French government; Marie-Thérèse de Lamourous, who fought to improve women’s lives and support the Catholic Church in any way she could; and Mother Adèle de Batz de Trenquelléon, who founded the Daughers of Mary Immaculate. Nick Cardilino, associate director of Campus Ministry, was inspired to write the musical after hearing the founders’ stories together for the first time at a Marianist Educational Associates’ retreat. “Put in the context of the French Revolution, it became that much more powerful, and that much more a story of courage, determination and strong faith,” Cardilino said. “The spirit spoke to me and said: ‘You should write a musical about this.’” Cardilino co-wrote the music and lyrics of Spectacle with Jim Ford, executive director of the Marianist Retreat Center near St. Louis, and Bro. Stan Zubek, S.M., from Cape May, New Jersey. He co-wrote Spectacle’s book — the dialogue of the scenes — with Michelle Hayford, director of the Theatre, Dance, and Performance Technology program at the University of Dayton.