They wrote the scripts, they directed the shows, they created the set – heck, they pulled off an entire theatre production.
Players is a student-run organization that puts on theatrical productions completely designed, performed and directed by students. Members can submit their ideas for productions and Players helps with funding, advertisement and other support to make the shows a success.
Last weekend the group provided the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point with a night of original, student-written theatre with the showing of “The Fringe.” Put on by student producers Jake Horstmeier and Tori Mittelman, the production was a success.
“The Fringe” is the title of the project in which four student-written one-act plays were performed.
Each play provided its own unique message, whether it was male camaraderie in “Where The Green Things Grow,” written by Tom Bebeau, or the importance of family in “Commitment,” written by Abigail Hencheck. Or perhaps the idea of what marriage truly means in “Baby Steps,” written by Erica Figurin, or how savagery does not discriminate in “The Donner Party,” written by Hanna Gaffney.
“I think our theater department is incredibly talented and I enjoy supporting them,” said Emiline Buhler, a junior Biology major, who attended the show because her roommate was a participant in the theater scriptwriting class that contributed most of the writing for the production.
“I thoroughly enjoyed the show. “The Fringe” is such a unique opportunity to showcase student writing. I thought it was incredible to see their work come to life in a professional setting,” Buhler said.
“The Fringe” included a disclaimer towards young audiences due to the intense language, drug references and violence in a few of the shows.
“The Donner Party had included blood works on stage as well as moments of dismemberment and finally cannibalism. Although all were done in a rather humorous way, the fact is people were bleeding profusely on stage,” Bebeau said.
Bebeau has been an avid supporter of Players since he joined last year.
“Last year I had one of my plays selected to be produced and performed as well. I also acted in another piece. As a member of the UWSP Players Board I felt I had a responsibility to aid with the undertaking of this very rewarding and collaborative project,” Bebeau said.
Players, a 40-year-old organization, also coordinates other events such as trips to see shows, workshops to broaden students’ knowledge of theatre and raises money for future productions.
To become a member of Players, no prior experience is necessary. Simply show interest in some way like participating in an event, helping with a show or by merely attending a weekly meeting.
Emma St. Aubin