Review: Newest AU Students Showcase Talent
Department of Performing Arts’ “Overture” presents heartfelt stories
Some of AU’s freshest faces showcased their talents in “Overture,” the new student theater showcase, at the Greenberg Theatre on Sept. 23 and 24. The monologues, musical numbers and dance performances were a reflection of the concerns freshmen have had while transitioning to college and life away from home.
The performance, directed by Professor of Theatre Caleen Jennings, has been a tradition in the Department of Performing Arts as a way to assimilate freshmen into the department. Each actor and actress brought forth a story of their own and a challenge they faced in coming to college. While some performances were more polished than others, their self-written monologues and stories made it special.
The show started with the performers on their way to class. As they check their bags to be sure they are prepared, they find an abstract object along with them. Some students found “fear” or “anxiety” and spoke aloud to that feeling, telling it to not interfere with their first day of school. This concept was quite interesting and stood out as some of the things carried along when faced with a daring challenge.
The themes of the show were structured around the actors’ class time in Performance 101. In each class, the students were pushed out of their comfort zone through an exercise either in groups or improvisation, and confessed their fears in their monologues. Eventually the students found comfort in the class, as they knew it had become a safe place that was now the basis of many newfound friendships.
The show also lightly addressed some of the recent issues of racism issues going on at AU. This was shown in some of the students’ original monologues, when they confessed they hadn’t seen such hate and were overwhelmed and frustrated at facing this issue while being away from home. In other monologues, some students confessed they didn’t know their place in this conflict, creating a dichotomy in feelings.
The songs were catchy and the dancing was average, however what really stood out were the personal stories of the actors. These ranged from losing a parent before college to struggling to meet the financial deadlines of higher education. This heartfelt and relatable performance of AU’s newest talent served as a great introduction of what’s to come in the Department of Performing Arts.