Upperclassmen relive personal memories of First Year Showcase

Michael Bragg

While the freshmen and transfer students have their time in the spotlight at the First Year Showcase, there’s a considerable amount of work going on behind the scenes at I.G. Greer Studio Theatre.

Four upperclassmen in the dance and theater department with the assistance of three faculty members worked together for the past month to bring the showcase together.

“We only had five rehearsals, each an hour and a half long,” Dana Edwards, senior dance studies and sustainable development major and choreographer of the piece “Change of Heart” said.

Edwards is originally a transfer student who choreographed for the showcase last year and had such a good time she volunteered to do it again.

Senior dance studies and theatre arts major Emma Holland is a transfer student as well.
Though she had not been involved before, she was specifically asked to help choreograph the showcase by Rebecca Keeter, one of the three faculty members directing the showcase and Holland’s former professor.

Holland, who choreographed “Finale” is the only declared double major of both dance and theatre arts at the university.

“It was very interesting to put  40 people of different backgrounds in one space,” Holland said.

And going even further behind the scenes, things get a bit technical.

Sophomore theatre design and technology major Wyatt Nyman is busy throughout every act designing all of the light cues, sound cues and anything else on the technical side of production.

“There’s something really rewarding about starting with nothing, then seeing it all come together,” Nyman said.

Nyam also works in the other campus theatres including the Valborg Theatre.

“Wyatt’s a genius,” Holland said.

Nyman started working technical theatre two weeks into his freshman year as part of a work program, which he requested, having done technical theatre in high school as well.

Nyman’s first show was last year’s First Year Showcase and he said he remembers being encouraged after seeing a sophomore working with the show, which made him realize that he could eventually be involved enough to come back and help others.

“That was why I wanted to come back,” Nyman said. “To give the new students a sense of optimism.”
The other two student choreographers are senior dance studies major Lydia Murrah and junior dance studies major Emily Smart, who choreographed “Unity” and “Portraiture,” respectively.

For the theater portion of the showcase, performers will use excerpts from Studs Terkel’s book “Working: People Talk About What They Do All Day and How They Feel About What They Do.”

The First Year Showcase runs on Thursday through Saturday  from 7:30 to 9 p.m. Tickets are $5 for students and $8 for faculty, staff, adults and seniors.

Story: R. SCOTT MORRIS, A&E Reporter