Thespian Bulls stampede theater
Student Theatre Productions is a theater of the students, by the students and for the students. For more than 30 years, it has been solely dedicated to providing an atmosphere conducive to practicing an array of theater crafts for students.
The “Of”: Thanks to an increasing number of new faces, a diverse populace makes up the family of STP members. The diversity in the organizational members’ academic backgrounds is refreshing, for it reflects a rising interest among students.
“Everybody involved in the show becomes a part of a big family. It truly is a lot of fun,” said Tiffany Dick, a senior majoring in theater performance. “I got involved with STP last year and have performed in two of their successful productions since. I definitely intend to continue doing it until I graduate.”
STP also has strong support from faculty members. Not only do they act as advisers, they help in direction and give feedback for the shows. With most of the College of Visual & Performing Arts (CVPA) faculty announcing the shows and auditions to their classes, STP productions normally achieve a full audience composed of educators and the educated alike.
Professor David Frankel, assistant director of theater and instructor for the USF School of Theatre and Dance, has been the academic adviser for STP for the past five years.
“I think last year, STP has been more active than the couple of years before. They managed to put on productions in the fall, spring as well as summer semesters,” said Frankel. “My role as an adviser is to advise, not to manage. In advocating for the group, I also serve as the liaison between this organization and the faculty.”
The “By”: Adhering to its motto, STP puts on performances to give the students a chance to showcase their talents in a multitude of ways. Distinct from the main stage productions like those put on by the theater department, STP performs everything ranging from 10-minute one-acts to full-length plays. The frequency of the shows depends on the frequency of student proposals, since priority is given to students’ ideas over outside works.
“We rely heavily on students bringing us ideas for shows. As long as we can find a time and a space, we will consider producing the work,” said Jesse Hutson, a junior theater performance major and president of the STP Board.
“Our organization is built around the idea of students working in all aspects of the theater, and that includes coming up with a play, writing it, directing it and acting in it.”
STP has provided a platform for experimentation for many students involved in theater as a major or a hobby. Matt Frankel, a junior majoring in theater arts, is one such student. He is involved with STP and has donned the director’s chair for Ten Tenners, an STP production of 10 10-minute student-written acts staged last semester. He also directed two of the six acts in Night of Our Ives, STP’s ode to the works of playwright David Ives.
“I always wanted to direct. I love directing,” said Frankel. “It doesn’t matter how many seats you fill, it’s the fact that you did it – that the show was put on. That’s true success.”
The “For”: The miscellaneous nature of its participants makes STP colorful. The only eligibility criterion for any student to become a part of this palette is a genuine desire to work in a theatrical setting with people whose enthusiasm is contagious.
“I think it’s a great opportunity for theater students in defining and exploring their careers here at Theatre USF,” said Kerry Glamsch, a Theatre and Dance instructor. He regularly helps students with auditions, scripts, and organization. “One of the best things about the group is that one does not have to be a theater major to audition and be cast.”
STP will soon be performing the highly anticipated zombie comedy titled Dead Heads by Marty Labbe, a theater performance major and treasurer for the STP Board. The show promises to be a “bloody good time” for everyone, said Hutson.
“Even though my major is psychology, I’ve always been involved with stage all through high school,” said Alex Rivera, a freshman. “I found STP on the list of student organizations and it sounded really exciting. I enjoy student performances a lot, and I can’t wait till they hold their next auditions.”
Students interested in becoming a part of STP may email firstname.lastname@example.org for additional information or locate the group via Blackboard. Students can also join the organization’s Facebook group (Student Theatre Production Board) to stay updated on upcoming events, auditions and productions.