Performing arts club AU Players makes a comeback
Players returns on campus after the pandemic
AU Players is returning to the stage this semester with events that focus on increasing student creativity and community bonding. The club had previously become inactive during the pandemic because they had difficulties organizing virtual events.
Jason Zuckerman, a sophomore in the College of Arts and Sciences, founded the new club to give students more opportunities to perform, direct, choreograph, design costumes and stage manage shows. Zuckerman, also the club’s president, aims to hold two events this semester for the club’s inaugural season: a cabaret night in November and a second event in December.
“We just want to put it out there that anybody who did theatre in high school and put it to rest should come out and audition for us,” Zuckerman said. According to Zuckerman, AU Players currently has over 50 new members.
Zuckerman said AU Players is defined as “a contemporary musical theatre group,” and that they plan to host production events with more low-stake performance opportunities. Currently, in the Department of Performing Arts, students are only typically able to be cast in one production out of the three offered per semester. AU Players enables students to continue taking the stage beyond just one performance, which Zuckerman hopes will give theater majors more opportunities to perform.
Compared to DPA shows, the shows picked out by AU Players are slated to have a lighter and more flexible rehearsal schedule. Moreover, in recent years, many DPA shows have had smaller casts; AU Players plans to put on larger productions with ensembles that can offer roles to a greater number of students.
“We won’t be turning people away,” Zuckerman said. “We want as many people involved as possible.”
Lila-Rose Roberts, Events Coordinator of AU Players and a sophomore in CAS, has ideas for new interactive and community bonding events she plans to bring to the stage. Roberts has always wanted to put on a “shadow-cast production” of “ The Rocky Horror Picture Show,” —a production where the movie is projected on a screen and the actors lip-sync the lines live in front of the screen. This type of production is traditionally interactive with the audience, who often dress up in themed costumes and are encouraged to throw popcorn at the screen.
Roberts also wants to make the club a space for students to de-stress and bond outside of performing, including movie and karaoke nights.
“We're really open-minded at this point this semester to lots of new ideas. So, we're really excited to have some interesting proposals coming in from people,” Roberts said.
Roberts encourages students to join and audition, no matter what level of experience they have. AU Players aims to be a place for students of all performing and theatrical capabilities.
“Come in and sing happy birthday for us. And we will applaud you and tell you did a great job auditioning because it is terrifying,” Roberts said.