Following her performance in Atlanta, Ga. on Saturday, July 14, 19-year-old color guard captain for the Boston Crusaders, Whitney Muthig, talked with's Christina Mavroudis about how the corps' 2007 show concept relates to the guard. Christina Mavroudis: Tell us about this year's show.

Whitney Muthig
Whitney Muthig: Our show is called "A Picasso Suite" and it focuses on Picasso's work throughout his different periods of painting. It starts with the Blue period, and goes to the Rose period, from there we move to Cubism, and the show ends with Surrealism. CM: How does the guard portray these four different styles? WM: The boys in the guard are actually dressed as painters, and the girls wear dresses. We also have easels as props that we often put our equipment on and we paint on them as well. Our flags are also mock-ups of a lot of Picasso's work. In the Blue period we spin blue flags that mock a painting of his, in the Rose period we spin rose colored flags, in Cubism there's a lot of shapes on our flags, and then in the Surrealism section we spin surreal rifles which are actually made from crutches. CM: Tell me about those rifles, is that something found in his paintings? WM: No, it's just something completely different. There's actually a point where the picture frames are lifted over the heads of the people tossing the crutches, and we, the tossers, become the picture inside the frames; it's pretty cool. It was kind of scary when we first learned it, but now it's just fun to do. CM: Are there any challenges with spinning color guard equipment in a dress? WM: Yes. Getting caught in your dress when the wind blows presents a whole new challenge for us. We have a bunch of extra skirts, towels and practice flags that we wrap around ourselves at rehearsals to get used to them for shows. When we first started they were definitely an issue, but they're not really a big deal anymore. Thankfully we've moved on from that. CM: What does the guard do in the off season to prepare for tour? WM: Most of us participate in winter guards, so that's a big preparation. Going into May is the big crunch time for us. That's when we get all of our basics down and we learn about what our characters in the show are going to be like. CM: Any big differences between this year and last year? WM: This year is actually completely different for us. We have a brand new color guard caption head and a completely new staff, so none of us – including the veteran members – really knew what to expect when we first started. After auditions, we got a taste of what the new staff was all about and were given a lot of stuff to work on. Also, a lot of the show is written around the color guard this year, so it's nice to have an identity and be able to emote to the audience a little more.