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Amanda Tesarek

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Foam will fly at this year’s Sloppy Saturday. The foam will be spewed out on a dance floor to create a “foam party,” one of the many activities that will be featured at the event themed “sticky and sweet.” Other activities include an inflatable twister and slip and slide, candy trivia, chubby bunny, a fluff snowball fight, edible paint and play dough and a race to find a piece of bubblegum in a pile of whipped cream.

Also present will be, in the words of Hoyt RA Megan Gailey (‘13), “tons and tons of food.”

The amount of activities at Sloppy Saturday can be attributed to a move to make the event more open to the entire campus.

“In the past, the event was centered on the beer garden with few other activities,” Gailey said. “There was this misconception that underclassmen weren’t welcome at the event.”

This year, RAs made an effort to extend the message that underclassmen are indeed invited to attend Sloppy Saturday.  This included taping candy grams on freshmen dorm rooms to advertise the event as well as placing flyers in each student’s mailbox.

“We want underclassmen to know there is a place for them at the event,” Gailey said. “There’s enough to keep everyone entertained for a long time.”

Also featured at the event will be a battle of the bands sponsored by WMNJ. With a wide variety of activities and copious amounts of food, Gailey said that every student should be able to “have fun in the sun and getting sweet and sticky.”

Thomas Butschi (’14) seconded that sentiment. “People should definitely attend Sloppy Saturday,” Butschi said. “It’s a lot of fun.”

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Dancers perform to the dance  "Solidarity" in the Spring Dance Show, "enter the SPACE" (Photo by Jen Costa Photography)

Dancers perform to the dance “Solidarity” in the Spring Dance Show, “enter the SPACE” (Photo by Jen Costa Photography)

Stories come to life through the annual Spring Dance Show, “enter the SPACE.” Before the show started, its intent was clearly stated by the Director of the Dance Show Cheryl Clark. In Clark’s note to the audience, “The Role of the Dance Maker,” she beautifully describes dance, saying “the body is not merely an object to admire, but creates a story of the human condition with all its possibilities.” Though not all the dances were perfect and drastically differed in mood and style, each attained this goal.

“Mi Amore,” choreographed by Anaili Pacheco (’14), started off the show. The piece was a strong start despite some issues with timing in the beginning. Despite the piece’s overall strength, it was eclipsed by the other, bolder dances in the show, especially since it seemed like something that had already been done before.

Following “Mi Amore” was the dance “Every Man,” choreographed by Samantha Wilkerson (’14). The piece was one of the standouts of the night. The dragging feet, harsh brutality and facial expressions worked together splendidly to create a surrealistic nightmare. Even the airy costumes made by Liz Fruhmann (’14) fit perfectly into this well-conceived illusion.

Nathan Forster (’15)’s piece, “I, nyC, borN whole” was charged with the unfortunate task of following Wilkerson’s masterpiece. The piece started off well, with the frenetic running of the dancers on-and-off-stage making it difficult to even determine how many dancers there were, and the lighting designed by Jessie Thiele (’15) casting shadows that conveyed their own sort of meanings. From there, however, the piece fell into a repetitive pattern that I wish Forster had developed a bit more.

The next piece, “Farfalla Tranquilla e Solitaria,” had the same problem as Forster’s. The piece was set up to succeed, with a clever story created by Alexandra Brown (’14)’s choreography and Sofia Koevary (’14)’s costuming, creating an apparent distinction between the two groups on stage. The ending, though, felt unresolved as though Brown was unsure of how to end the piece.

“Solidarity,” choreographed by Amanda Teixiera (’14), was a great way to end the first half of the show. The piece was inspiring and visionary in that it was able to use dance to carry out the intent of a speech by Charlie Chaplin, while mixing the speech with music by Hans Zimmer. The juxtaposition of the two initially was a bit choppy, but the elegant blend of dance, music and speech overcame the initial transition. It was another standout of the night.

After a 15 minute intermission, the show resumed with the dance “Passing Through,” by Aliyah Vaughan (’14). The choreography was impeccably tight and it was by far the most in-unison piece of the night. However, the costuming didn’t really seem to fit the piece – in fact one costume fell apart during the performance, so this is true both figuratively and literally.

“Moxi,” by Francine Odri (’14), followed. The combination of cutesy, cheesy and sexy was integrated into the entire piece. An especially strong point of the dance was the smiles and other cutesy expressions the dancers used, which contrasted with the stoic expressions used in most of the other pieces. All-in-all, the dancers looked as though they had come straight out of the musical ‘Chicago.’

Students dance to "Mister Who's 'e What's It," a piece performed entirely without music (Photo by Jen Costa Photography)

Students dance to “Mister Who’s ‘e What’s It,” a piece performed entirely without music (Photo by Jen Costa Photography)

The next piece, Ruby Hanky (’13)’s “Mister Who’s ‘e What’s It,” made the courageous choice to forgo music. The piece did not suffer at all for this decision. The movement, expressions and overall tone of the piece made it one of the most comedic pieces I have ever witnessed. The only problem had to do with, again, improper costuming that I didn’t fully understand.

Concluding the evening was Katya Danko (’13)’s piece, “The Dirt on Their Hands.” I enjoyed the piece, and though there were parts of the dance that didn’t translate that well, it was clear Danko was attempting to provide some sort of commentary on war. The grief of the dancers was evident, and the defeat and loss the dancers expressed through their movement was able to elicit a response from the audience.

Though there were minor issues with costuming and conclusions of pieces, overall the dance show was something I would highly recommend seeing. The pieces that were alright end up blending together, but the ones that stood out have stayed with me long after the show. “enter the SPACE” is showing this week in the DoYo at 8 p.m. on Friday and 2 p.m. on Saturday. Tickets are $8.

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David, right, played by Jordan Sokol (’15), angrily confronts guidance counselor Dr. Hawkes, left, played by Tim Ward (’14) in the one act, “Two Face”
David, right, played by Jordan Sokol (’15), angrily confronts guidance counselor Dr. Hawkes, left, played by Tim Ward (’14) in the one act, “Two Face”

David, right, played by Jordan Sokol (’15), angrily confronts guidance counselor Dr. Hawkes, left, played by Tim Ward (’14) in the one act, “Two Face”

If you enjoy being disturbed, inspired, and above all intellectually stimulated for a night, I would highly recommend attending the plays “Two Face” by Lee Ann Hoover (’13) and “Waiting for Lefty” by Clifford Odet. The two plays—one about a series of meetings between a student and his guidance counselor, and the other about a taxi union during the Great Depression—definitely give the audience plenty to think about.

Before “Two Face” even started, I could tell director Katelynn Devorak (’13) had put careful thought into the set design. With the help of set designer Valerie Bannan (’13) and props designer Molly Porter (’15), the stage was transformed into a very organized office. In fact, the meticulous organization of the props at the beginning of the play provided even more contrast as the situation onstage deteriorated.

Adding to the theme of deterioration were Tim Ward (’14) as Dr. Hawkes and Jordan Sokol (’15) as David. The two seemed to go too rapidly from having no connection to confiding dark personal secrets to one another. This could be because of a disconnect between the two actors in the first and second scene. But both teamed up to shine brilliantly in the final scene, switching at times, trading off acting as the aggressor and victim. Ward especially was perfect in making the audience empathize with someone society would usually dismiss as evil. Sokol, on the other hand, emoted through his choice of physicality, making the character his own through nervous tics—such as tapping his feet.  Emilyn Bona (’13) should also be applauded for designing basic costumes that allowed for obvious scene changes without taking any time to change.

The cast of “Waiting for Lefty” chant to raise support for their strike (Photos by Jennifer Costa Photography)

The cast of “Waiting for Lefty” chant to raise support for their strike (Photos by Jennifer Costa Photography)

Hoover’s script, though written with tremendous depth, seemed to have a lack of development in the first two scenes. Though her wry and clever humor made people laugh, myself among them, I couldn’t help feeling that if she would have pushed the development between Dr. Hawkes and David just a bit further initially, the play would have been more cohesive on the whole. Also, for being a Harvard-educated man, Dr. Hawkes at times seemed a bit dense. Overall, however, Hoover’s ability to provoke emotional reactions within a widely-varied audience was quite impressive.

Devorak was able to pull together a very impressive performance. The attention to detail was very impressive, down to the lily plant that, though in the background, towered in a position of power above everything else in the room.  In order to fully appreciate the cleverness of both the directing and the script, you really just have to go see the show.  “Waiting for Lefty” was also well-directed. It’s hard to say whether director Amy Crossman (’13) was the reason behind the wonderful ensemble work done between actors, or whether they were simply fantastic on their own. Either way, the cast was spectacular.

Out of the actors with speaking roles, there was not a single weak performance, only stand-outs. The Performance of the Night award would have to go to Sophie Blum (’13), who captivated with a display of passion that Blum should sell to today’s political world.

All the actors should be commended though, especially through their embodiment of clipped New York accents, characteristic of the era in which the play was set.  The women were also very good when it came time for them to play male roles, taking care to walk with masculine posture and sit in masculine positions.  Costume designer Christina Lockerby (’13) helped lend credibility to the actors through her spot-on period piece costumes.

Crossman made an interesting directing choice concerning scene changes. While the actors were moving props, they would, in character, mutter to each other about the scene just presented. At first, I thought this was distracting. Eventually, though, I grew to appreciate it as a way to make the play more unified.  Crossman also placed actors among the audience,which I’m typically not a huge fan of. However, in this case it served to engage the audience more in what was going on.

The only criticism I have of the play overall has to do with the blocking. Dealing with an audience on three-sides is not easy, because that means one side of the audience is almost always seeing backsides. This effect could have been reduced if a bit more movement was added to some scenes. Both “Two Face” and “Waiting for Lefty” are definitely worth seeing. When it boils down to it, the choices made by the directors serve only to add or detract from two important themes: dealing with trauma and standing up for worker’s rights.

Each director did an extremely credible job with these difficult yet relevant scripts.  Both one acts are running Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m., and Saturday at 2 p.m. in the Thomas Kean Theater. Tickets are $8.

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Tim Ward (’14) playing a guidance counselor, interacts with Jordan Sokol (’15, sitting) who plays a troubled student in the upcoming play, “Two Face”
Amy Crossman (’13) directs actress Sophia Blum (’13) in the upcoming play, “Waiting for Lefty” (Photo by Alexander Jorgenson)

Amy Crossman (’13) directs actress Sophia Blum (’13) in the upcoming play, “Waiting for Lefty” (Photo by Alexander Jorgenson)

The 1930s and the modern era will collide in the Dorothy Young Center for the Arts on Oct. 3-6. Two very different one-act plays will debut under the leadership of student directors.

Lee Ann Hoover’s (’13) new play, “Two Face,” is set to premiere under the direction of her classmate, Katelynn Devorak (’13). The play, set in a modern time period, chronicles the evolution of a relationship between a troubled student and a guidance counselor.

“The basic premise is that a youth has committed an act of violence, and he’s brought to the guidance counselor to figure out why,” Hoover said. “From there, the evolution of their relationship goes through many twists and turns.”

The one act consists of three scenes, all set in the school’s guidance office over the period of one week. Devorak said that, because the cast consists of only two actors, the casting of the play was a large part of her focus. She selected Tim Ward (’14) and Jordan Sokol (’15).

“I needed the two to be able to play their roles like the stakes are really high,” Devorak said. “And [Ward and Sokol] are spectacular and very talented.”

The play went through a number of drafts until Hoover gave the final copy to Devorak. Though Hoover was involved in some of the rehearsals, she said she tried to step back.“The thing about playwriting is that you have to realize, at a point it’s not yours anymore,” Hoover said. “Now it’s someone else’s project, and you’ve got to let it go.”

Hoover said that while writing the play, she liked the immediacy of a one-on-one confrontation. She was inspired by the concept of a “tour-de-force” between actors that would bring the themes she wrote about to the show’s surface.

“It speaks to a universal issue about dealing and moving on with the past,” Hoover said. “We all have things that haunt us, but it’s what we do with the past that determines our future.”

Though Devorak has turned the play into her own work, she still believes Hoover’s points are the most important aspect of the play, which come across in the writing.

Tim Ward (’14) playing a guidance counselor, interacts with Jordan Sokol (’15, sitting) who plays a troubled student in the upcoming play, “Two Face”

Tim Ward (’14) playing a guidance counselor, interacts with Jordan Sokol (’15, sitting) who plays a troubled student in the upcoming play, “Two Face”

“On the surface you have entertainment and intrigue,” Devorak said. “But it really has to do with dealing with the past, and if redemption does exist.”

Debuting after a brief intermission will be Clifford Odet’s “Waiting for Lefty,” directed by Amy Crossman (’13). The play focuses on a taxi union in the 1930s faced with the decision of whether or not to strike for more money.

“It’s really what to do about these awful economic and personal hardships facing a community,” Crossman said. “It’s about the ideals versus the reality of a country.”

Crossman read the play her sophomore year and continued to think about it until finally deciding to direct it. Though she believes the play to be entirely relevant today, she also agrees that it is not her place to promote her own ideas.

“My job is to tell the story and to tell it well,” Crossman said. “It’s a director’s job to communicate the message but to not get caught up in the themes.”

Crossman started as an actor, so she approaches directing through an actor’s lens. “I have an understanding of how an actor works,” Crossman said, “And that’s primarily through understanding the objectives and the tactics of the character.”

Because of her understanding of acting and the play’s focus on a community, Crossman was insistent that the cast bond together as a “family.”

“In this case, the community is so essential to the play,” she said, that she “became very conscious of trying to create a sort of family within the cast that would translate onstage.”

Crossman recommends that everyone attends both plays, but said that “Waiting for Lefty” has a certain relevance to the issues of today.

“It’s about what it means to be an American,” Crossman said, “which is especially important with the election coming up. It has to do with the balance between individuals and community.”

Because of this and the ideas in “Two Face,” Crossman encourages the entire Drew community to turn up. “I don’t think theater has to be for the Theater Department,” Crossman stated. “I think the plays speak to a larger community than the people who create them.”

Both plays open on Oct. 3 at 7 p.m., with $5 admission. Subsequent performances on Oct 4, 5 and 6 are at 8 p.m. with $8 admission. A brief intermission will separate the two shows

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Reference Librarian and Webmanager, Jennifer Heise shows Anthony Barnette (’13) how to research using the new system (Photo by James McCourt)

Reference Librarian and Webmanager, Jennifer Heise shows Anthony Barnette (’13) how to research using the new system (Photo by James McCourt)

Research will now be easier for students due to a technological makeover that occurred this summer in the Drew Library. The Library’s main update is the addition of the search tool Summon which uses features similar to Google to find texts in various library databases simultaneously. The Head of Research and Reference Services Jody Caldwell said that Summon, though similar to Google, offers some key benefits.

“You’re searching only what’s available in library catalogue, not the open web,” Caldwell said. “That means what you find someone has looked through and deemed worthy.”

To use Summon, a student only needs to type the topic he or she is looking for into the search bar. Summon then runs and returns the results of a full text search. A full text search, however, does have some drawbacks. “Summon is just looking for the term,” Caldwell said. “It doesn’t care where it appears, and no one looks through to determine if the topic you search is the actual subject of the text.”

Web Manager Jennifer Heise explained that by using algorithms that produce relevance ranking Summon does attempt to remedy this problem more than a traditional library catalogue search. “The software is designed to push what you’re looking for up to the top of the results,” Heise said. “In a traditional database search, everything is catalogued in reverse chronological order.”

Caldwell said this upgrade in searching software was supposed to come at the expense of an underutilized library tool that provided a listing of electronic journals. Because this service was of comparable cost to Summon, swapping the two was, according to Caldwell, thought to be “pretty much a wash.”

However, when the librarians went to the provider of the two services, Serial Solutions, with their proposition, things went even better than they expected. “We went to Serial Solutions and said we want to drop the service in order to pay for Summon,” Caldwell said. “They came back with an offer to give us both the services at the same cost.”

This means that the addition of Summon will simultaneously save the Library from having to spend extra money and keep all of its existing services.

“I appreciate how SUMMON allows me to look at most of the resources that the Library is able to provide in one search,”

-Student on a comment card

Caldwell said the addition of Summon will be beneficial for many students, especially those whose fields don’t focus much attention on cataloguing their materials.

A focus group that took place over the summer had students test Summon and write down their reactions. “I appreciate how SUMMON allows me to look at most of the resources that the Library is able to provide in one search,” one student wrote on a comment card. “I also like how it assumes ‘AND’ for my search.” Other updates took place over the summer, including a specialized business-searching database named ABI-Inform and the addition of 77,000 e-books. Caldwell said the updates being made are a source of enthusiasm for the Library.

“We’re very proud of what we can offer this year that we couldn’t offer last year,” Caldwell said. Both Caldwell and Heise said that even with these new tools, students should come to librarians to ask for help. “That’s what we’re here for,” Heise said. To access Summon, ABI-Inform or any other database to which Drew has access, students can go to the Library’s webpage on Treehouse.

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