Every year at Quest we’ve usually had at least one play which is usually put up by the annual ‘Theater: Acting and Directing’ class around April or March. In addition to this, often times there are shows put up independently by students which, while not plays in the strictest sense, certainly can be called theater. The two that come immediately into mind are the ‘V-Day Monologues’ and the ‘Manologues’. Both of these events involve theatrical renditions of monologues and usually attract large excitement and acclaim through campus. Whilst I could write about my appreciation for both shows for a while, luckily there have been some excellent articles written about them already.
Last year’s V-Day performance, ‘a Memory, a Monologue, a Rant, and a Prayer’ (Photo credits to Keegan Pearson).
Tristan Kline, playing a mime-clown, satirizes normative definitions of manhood in last year’s ‘Manologues’ (Photo credits to Keegan Pearson).
As for the more tradition sense of theater; plays, there is a budding community of thespians who have been pushing for a greater theater culture on campus. Notably, since there was no theater block this 2015-2016 year, Quest saw the set up of a completely independent play by a group of theater enthusiasts, this is something which hasn’t happened in a while. The play, ‘Heart of the City’ by Eric Lane, was funded by the SRC and was put up for no reason other than celebrating theater at Quest, something which given it’s time commitment (in addition to the vigorous of the block program) often has been overlooked. I too was super stoked to be a part of this project.
Preparations for the play, which was intended to be put up in late March, began in December with auditions. Following our allocation of characters, we parted ways for the winter break with scripts to memorize. The next few blocks, following everybody’s return, was nothing short of hectic. Mind you, at Quest there can sometimes be two types of hectic; a bad hectic, which is when one is low on sleep and still has plenty to get done before the sun rises; then there’s the good hectic, were one is out of breath and still unable to stop laughing. This was the good kind.
The play itself was very warmly received by the Quest community. Many enjoyed it’s emotional roller-coaster aspect; there were sighs, laughs and heart-touching moments to be had. Aside from the appreciation the community had for it (which was super), the actors walked away from the show with a few new found things.
For one, the arts at Quest have a wonderful phenomenon of dissolving year-barriers in the community. It is common to find members of one year sticking together at many institutions, but this is not so at Quest; personally I feel it is due to the campus size, proximity of everyone, recreational activities and the arts. It is something I’ve noticed happening especially in the collaborative arts, whether that be music, visual art, theater or even show set-up.
Secondly, many of us walked away from the play thirsting for even more theater. Naturally, many of us came from theatrical backgrounds in high school, and the feeling of that lifestyle (though it may only last for one month in a year) is hard to replicate with much else. Only a few days following the play, plans were made for the following year for a theater organization and the possibility of a one-act festival in the spring which would include originally written plays. All in all, it has been super exciting for everyone involved.
For any interested in both Quest and Theater, it definitely is an exciting time! Right now, there are plans amidst the community to find, design or propose a space we can call our own, for both rehearsal, performance and all-round fun. As for what the future will bring, no body can be to certain, but it definitely is going to be a wild, adventurous and super-fun ride. Hop along!
Quest is also home to a budding ‘Improv-Theater’ and stand-up comedy community, whose members are often interchangeable (Photo credits to Kendrick Dettmers).