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FTT to present ‘Spring Awakening’


first_imgPhoto courtesy of Sophia Costanzo Sophomore Savanna Morgan, left, and senior Grace Weissend rehearse for an upcoming production of the musical ‘Spring Awakening.’ Set in nineteenth century in Germany, the play is a coming-of-age story.Senior Grace Weissend plays the character Ilse in the production and said the play emphasizes the importance of communication in the coming-of-age process.“The musical shows what happens when communication breaks between parents and children and when parents don’t trust their children with the information they need to become adults,” she said.Based on a German play of the same name by Frank Wedekind, Steven Satar and Duncan Sheik adapted “Spring Awakening” to a musical in response to the Columbine shooting.“The idea was that the parents, the adults, were failing their children and the weapons were guns,” Hawkins said. “[Satar and Sheik] decided to write this and do an adaptation of Wedekind’s original play, and the weapon is sex.”Sophomore Teagan Earley, who plays the character Wendla, said the cast had the unique opportunity to meet with “Spring Awakening” composer Duncan Sheik to discuss how the music directs the show.“The thought is that if these children who are not allowed to talk in the classroom and are barely allowed to talk outside of their classroom could express themselves freely, it would come out as hard rock music,” Earley said. Students will relate to “Spring Awakening,” Hawkins said, because of the modern music, the age of the characters and the universal themes it espouses.“When you get to college you’ll be exposed to different people who have different values and different backgrounds,” he said. “Hard conversations will happen, but really healthy conversations will happen, so “Spring Awakening” is just perfect for young students at the height of their sexual experience and the height of trying to understand what is institution and who is suppressing them.”Weissend said the music melds the modern and the antiquated, which makes it different from usual musical theatre conventions.“Musical theatre gets a bad rap for being happy, sunshine, singing-and-dancing-land and fake conflict, but this show really explodes that stereotype because of its themes,” she said.The focus on starting a dialogue has been apparent throughout the rehearsal process, Earley said.“As the show is trying to encourage conversation between adults and kids, [Hawkins’s] directing style has been trying to encourage that dialogue as well,” Earley said. “When the Parkland shooting happened, we stopped rehearsal and we sat down and had a conversation about it and how it related to the show.”In light of the connection between the topics of the show and the current political atmosphere of the country, Weissend said, the program is donating a portion of the box office proceeds to March for Our Lives, a series of national demonstrations last month that advocated for gun safety measures.Hawkins said he hopes after seeing the show people can better recognize that the lack of communication between different generations has serious consequences.“What’s hard about it is that the adults have been children before, not the other way around,” Hawkins said. “The adults have the knowledge, and they have the experience, but when they do not provide guidance, comfort and education on these hard subject matters, these young people will have to figure it out themselves.”Hawkins, Earley and Weissend all said they want “Spring Awakening” to serve as a catalyst for important and necessary conversations and as an opportunity to enhance dialogue above all else.“We live in a very polarized society nowadays, but I think ‘Spring Awakening’ will be an opportunity on this campus to engage in actual conversation to really connect as human beings,” Earley said.Tags: DPAC, FTT, musical theater, Spring Awakening To complete the semester, the Notre Dame Film, Television and Theatre (FTT) department will perform renowned rock musical “Spring Awakening.”  The musical will be directed by FTT head of musical theatre Matt Hawkins and will run from April 18 to April 22 in the Patricia George Decio Theatre in the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center (DPAC). Set in late 19th-century Germany, “Spring Awakening” tells the story of teenagers attempting to navigate their journey into adulthood.last_img read more


Senators discuss transfer forgiveness, union support


first_img“I definitely saw a significant change in the rigor of my academics when I came from my old school … My transition was a little rough,” Chuang said.  A resolution aiming to ease the academic transition for transfer students was proposed during an Undergraduate Student Government meeting Tuesday. The resolution advocates extending the Freshman Forgiveness program to transfers. The program currently allows first-year students to retake up to three classes in which they received a grade of D+ or below.   Sen. Emily Johnson said that the testimonials from workers motivated her work on the resolution and emboldened her to educate other students through clipboarding campaigns.  Commitment to the pact encourages prioritization of academics and self- care practices such as using mental health resources at Engemann Student Health Center during the elections process.  McMorran hopes the resolution bolsters support for the union and encourages students to respect the workers at USC.  “These people are not invisible,” McMorran said. “They are here, we interact with them every day. “  One of the proposed changes limits slates to a maximum of three people. Slates involve multiple candidates running together on the same platform points. Assistant Director of Elections and Recruitment Julia Katcher said that since slates have a historic advantage during elections, reducing the number of people allowed on a slate campaign team will level the playing field.  Additionally, senators proposed a resolution declaring formalized support for the 800 housing and hospitality workers during their new contract negotiations. The resolution stated that “the workers represented by Unite Here! Local 11 deserve good-faith contract negotiations and support from the University community.”  Later during the meeting, the Election and Recruitment team presented changes to the 2020 USG Elections Code. The team incorporated feedback from senators in their proposal to change parts of the election process.  Sen. Angela Chuang, who transferred from George Washington University, was inspired by her difficulty adapting to the environment at USC to help author the resolution.  Chuang believes that extending the policy would be an important step in improving the transfer experience.  “I have heard several people talk about how it’s great that they get benefits, but that shouldn’t be a substitution for a livable wage, especially one that doesn’t keep pace with the increase of living in Los Angeles,” Johnson said. The resolution cited multiple studies on the “transfer shock” phenomenon, which theorizes that the change in academic environment for transfer students results in a GPA dip during their first semester at a new institution.  The team also changed the definition of a write-in candidate. Write-in candidates will need to be written on the ballot. Previously, write-in candidates names would be printed on the ballot and received many of the same privileges, such as USG advertising their platforms.  If passed, the resolution will allow transfer students to retake up to one course of any undergraduate level from their first semester at USC. It referenced data from a survey conducted by the USC Transfer Student Community that revealed 89.4% of the 565 respondents believed extending the forgiveness program “would help transfers if provided.”   In lieu of advice from senators, workshops administered by the Election and Recruitment team will provide insight for candidates on how to run a successful campaign.  Sen. Christopher McMorran said he appreciated the inclusion of the wellness pact in the proposed changes, saying that  running for office took a toll on his mental health. The wellness pact is a voluntary agreement candidates can sign that emphasizes “the importance of prioritizing the mental health and well-being of candidates during the stressful elections process,” the presentation read.  Other personal testimonials from transfer students who struggled during their transition to USC were also included in the resolution. One student said that struggling to raise their GPA after underperforming during their first semester at USC led to lower self-confidence and contributed to a harsher transition.  “It’s supposed to be designed to help alleviate students of that stress, knowing that they can possibly retake a class if they’re not doing well and, hopefully, focus efforts on what they need to,” Chuang said.  The changes also prohibit USG senators, executives and members of the marketing team from publicly endorsing candidates as well as counseling candidates during the race.  USG senators discussed resolutions regarding a potential Transfer Forgiveness policy and supporting union-protected USC staff during a meeting Tuesday. (Ally Wei | Daily Trojan)last_img read more


Sofapaka closing in on Zanzibar’s Makame


first_img0Shares0000Zanzibar Heroes midfielder Abdul Aziz Makame in action for the side during the CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup at the Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos. PHOTO/Raymond MakhayaNAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 11- Former Kenyan Premier League champions Sofapaka will complete the signing of Zanzibar midfielder Abdul Aziz Makame in the next one week with the clubs already having agreed terms.Batoto ba Mungu Chief Executive Officer, Emmanuel Kayoyi has revealed to Capital Sport that only a few details of the transfer remain to be completed but the Jang’ombe FC player will don the blue and white of Sofapaka in the coming season. “We have been talking to the club for a while now and we are almost coming to an agreement. The talks are positive and I am certain we will land the player. He will be our final signing of the January window,” Kayoyi said on Thursday.Head coach Sam Ssimbwa also acknowledges he has been informed of the pending arrival of the 21-year old, though he admits he doesn’t know much about him.Sofapaka FC head coach Sam Ssimbwa issues instructions during a training session at te Eastleigh High School on January 11, 2017. Photo/TIMOTHY OLOBULU“I didn’t have the privilege of watching CECAFA and so I didn’t see much of him. But my fellow coaches did watch him and the report I get is that he is a very good player and will be a very good addition to the team,” Ssimbwa said.Makame mesmerized during the recently concluding CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup where he played a starring role in Zanzibar’s run to the final, where they lost 3-1 on post-match penalties to Kenya’s Harambee Stars. He was however injured after 21 minutes of the final.Several KPL clubs were said to be trailing his services with Gor Mahia having expressed a concrete desire to land his services, but were slowed down by the lack of opportunity within their foreign player quota. AFC Leopards had also shown interest.Sofapaka, the 2009 league champions have already snapped up one outstanding player from the CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup, having tied down Burundian centre back Mousa Omar to a two-year contract.Sofapaka FC players gather after a training session at the Eastleigh High School on January 11, 2017. Photo/TIMOTHY OLOBULUThe club has also signed Western Stima utility Vitalis Akumu, left-back Yussuf Mohammed from Muhoroni Youth, former AFC Leopards keeper Ian Otieno, Kariobangi Sharks duo of Ibrahim Kitawi and Elli Asieche, Jackson Saleh, strikers Stephen Waruru and Kepha Aswani as well as midfielder Teddy Osok on loan from Gor Mahia.Meanwhile, the club has released Ugandan defender Jonathan Mugabi, Sam Mutiria, Hansel Ochieng and George Opiyo while forward Morven Otinya has been shipped out on a season-long loan deal to Nzoia Sugar.“It is a good team, but I can’t say it is the strongest. The one I had in 2010/2011 was one of the best. In this one, we only have one national team player. In 2010 we had up to nine players. But we are working during the pre-season to gel and hopefully we can compete,” head coach Ssimbwa said.Batoto ba Mungu kicks-off their 2018 KPL campaign at home against Bandari FC on February 4 at the Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more