Alpha Psi Omega Hosts New Theatrical Events / Gracie Lee

         Alpha Psi Omega, Mississippi College’s national theatre honor society, hosted a dramatic competition titled “Build a Play” on Feb. 11-12 . Students built teams consisting of a writer, director, and actors to produce a 15-minute play overnight. They met in Aven Hall Friday night to register and receive themes and props. Each team could choose their members or be assigned into groups. After their initial rendezvous, writers went home to compose a 15-minute production. Teams met the following day to rehearse and performed in the Jean Pittman Williams Recital Hall Saturday evening at 5:00 p.m. Dr. Phyllis Seawright, sponsor of APO and communications professor, judged.  

“It is unique because it’s the first event APO has hosted that needs involvement from the rest of the MC community. We’ve had events that are open to all, but this is the first that relies on interest from other populations on campus,” Beth Owen, president of the organization, said. “The first time doing anything is a little scary though. I believe that this is a great event, and an opportunity for students to have a lot of fun, so I’m hopeful.”

The club offers a chance for new members to be inducted in the fall and spring semesters. Induction is not determined by classification or major, but some credits in theatre productions and classes are required to qualify. Being a member of APO is not required for participation in dramatic productions. Other officers of the academic year 2021-2022 include Vice Presidents/Stage Managers Kat Goss and Takaye Farmer.

Goss looked forward to hosting the performance. “We are working to provide a creative outlet to the artists, writers, and actors across campus in the middle of all of the crazy schedules and busy lives,” she said. “The ability to come together to make art and entertainment is precious.” 

First place won a small trophy and bragging rights for the rest of the semester. The individual teams chose their own themes. One team, including freshmen Emma Ellard and Carson Jones and sophomore Camden Clem, based their plot on a murder mystery parody. “It was unexpectedly enjoyable,” Kathryn Elliot, a sophomore and audience member, said. “ It was much more well-rehearsed than I thought it would be.”

Goss, who has participated in and volunteered at the Vicksburg Theatre Guild in the last several years, is always eager to create theatre-related opportunities for students on campus. “I love the chance for a community that has a love of theatre in common, especially because we all come from different places in our theatre experience,” she said. “Some people have mostly done straight plays, and love Shakespeare and the classics. Others love musical theatre and all the modern world applications that are represented,” Goss said. “I want others to see it as a place to be exposed to new ideas and art forms.”

Farmer agreed. “My favorite thing about theatre is seeing actors completely transform into the characters they are performing. APO is like a family to me. Each of our members, and sponsor, are caring, loving and genuine.”

If dramatically inclined students missed this opportunity, Alpha Psi Omega has many others lined up for the remainder of the semester. Those without a date on Valentine’s Day could socialize at a musical screening in the East/West Lobby. The club is also hosting a bake sale on March 7-10 to help raise funds for more activities and events. They will conclude the semester on a strong note with “Quarrels on the Quad” on April 11. Goss, who is trained in stage combat, will share some tricks of the trade with interested students.

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