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December 5, 2007

Latin Dance and Waffle-Themed Theatre? It’s All at OWU

TerpsiCorp dancers backstage at the 2007 spring dance showcase: (kneeling, left to right) Kendra Gladieux ’08 and Natalie Castro ’08; (standing, left to right) Stephanie Smith ’09, Leah Nolan ’08, Aycan Garip ’09, Adrienne Scott ’08, Lydia Spitalny ’08, Molly Mehl ’09, and Michelle Augenstein ’10.
Looking for something to do on campus during the next few weekends? You’re in luck.

This weekend, at 8 p.m. December 7 and 8, Ohio Wesleyan’s Department of Theatre & Dance will present its annual “Directing & Playwriting Classes One-Act Plays”—a collection of 10 original plays directed by theatre students. Except for one piece written by Professor Bonnie Milne Gardner ’77, all of the plays were written by OWU students.

Operating under the title “Sex, Guns, and Waffles,” this year’s assortment of 10-minute plays focuses on everything from a hospital operating room to a deserted roof in the Middle East. The concepts came out of Gardner’s playwriting class or were chosen by Professor Ed Kahn’s directing class.

The free show will be in the Studio Theatre inside Chappelear Drama Center. Tickets can be picked up at the Department of Theatre & Dance office between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, with remaining tickets available at the door. Although the show is open to the public, some use of adult language and sexual references earn it a PG-13 rating.

Participants include nine student writers, 10 student directors, 21 student actors, and one faculty actor—Dan Vogt, professor of chemistry. The show also involves seven student lighting designers, a student production manager, a student stage manager, a student assistant stage manager, a student sound designer, and a student light board operator. A handful of students are pulling double duty for the production, both acting and directing or acting and writing.

“Like all of our shows, the one-acts are a way for these theatre artists to collaborate with other students and to share their work with audiences,” says Kahn.

Next weekend, the University’s student dance organization, TerpsiCorp, will present its annual winter dance showcase. Run and choreographed solely by Ohio Wesleyan students, the show features 12 performances in styles ranging from contemporary and theatrical to Latin, jazz, and swing. The fun will kick off at 7 p.m. December 13 on Chappelear Drama Center’s Main Stage.

“It’s definitely a kid-friendly show,” says Molly Mehl ’09, a member of TerpsiCorp and the primary organizer of the annual winter dance showcase. As an alternative to charging admission, the organization is asking that attendees bring two non-perishable canned goods to donate to local families in need. The event is open to the public.

TerpsiCorp’s 30 members start organizing the annual winter showcase early in the school year, holding auditions in mid-September. Participants are recruited through fliers and ‘meet and greet’ events like this year’s pizza party in Stuy Smoker.

“Because [TerpsiCorp] is an interesting word, a lot of people don’t know what it is,” says Mehl, citing that many of the group’s members are from majors other than theatre and dance.

In addition to performing in the annual winter dance showcase, TerpsiCorp members attend various dance events in Columbus and assist with other events on campus. For those with a passion for dance, says Mehl, it’s a great way to continue the sport through college.

Students interested in joining TerpsiCorp can contact Mehl at memehl@owu.edu.

– Ann Marcum