Using humor to highlight issues
STAGE puts on SOAPs to provide students with exam study break
STAGE’s Student One Act Plays (SOAPs) are coming back for another year in a series of theatre acts by the students for the students. On Dec. 5, the club will take the stage in Grand Valley State University’s Kirkhof Center, and from Dec. 6 through 7, the students will perform in the Cook-Dewitt Center.
SOAPs is a completely student-run event that began with students writing 10-15 minute acts. Once the acts were complete, a group of student directors, actors and techies put their minds together to bring the words to life.
“It’s completely our vision. We do with it whatever we like,” STAGE member Jacob Molli said. “The success and failure rests completely on our shoulders, like out in the real world.”
Preparation for SOAPs began formally with auditions in October, but the student playwrights started months in advance. The vision of each of the students went through multiple editing sessions before debuting for auditions.
Following auditions, students were cast in one of the four plays. Each highlights a social or personal issue.
“Theaters are a great form of getting people to really think or to teach them a lesson,” Molli said. “It is a lot easier to teach someone something or get something across to them if they are entertained or laughing, so this is a good way to do it.”
Alexandria Quells, STAGE’s vice president, said the plays use humor to approach difficult topics.
The experience of SOAPs applies the concepts of the classroom to a real-life scenario, allowing for each member to participate in every part of a play. Students dirtied their hands in all aspects of the theater, such as acting, directing, technical coordination, costuming and overall production.
“It gives us a sense of accomplishment,” Quells said. “It helps us as students, as theater performers to experience all the components of what goes into a play.”
The curtain rises for the four plays at 10 p.m. each evening, and admission is completely free.
“A lot of them are comedies,” Molli said. “It is nice to get out and laugh. Just come out to support the student body and see what we’re putting up.”