With the sheer amount of artistic involvement on campus, it’s not unthinkable that there is a limit placed on the creative energy of the student body. One such limit is a newly-implemented rule in the school of theater, stating that students may only be cast in two shows per semester.
Lance Marsh, theater professor and head of performance, said the rule was instated for two reasons. First, to ensure that performances and rehearsals don’t subtract from classroom priorities, and, second, to allow more opportunities to students who beforehand received no performance work throughout the whole semester.
“We have 200 theater students, 150 acting students, and yet there’s still a large number of students that don’t get to work,” Marsh said. “We want to allow there to be a more equitable dispersal of roles.”
Though effective as of this semester, the limitation of performance opportunities is not a new rule. The restriction was always set at two, but this altered and reinstated version of the rule also includes student-run and off-site productions, with the sole exception of the OCUedge stage readings.
OCUedge is a series of staged-readings that happen every year. It’s an extension of the TheatreOCU season, but is usually composed of more modern and edgy plays.
“It’s really just correcting an oversight,” Marsh said. “If you do eight weeks of performance and rehearsal off-site and you still do two shows here on campus, that’s too much performance work, we think.”
Some performance students said being in more than two shows can be more trouble than it’s worth.
“If you are putting your heart and soul into those two shows, you really shouldn’t have the time or energy to do another one,” said Franziska Harms, acting junior.
Student reactions to this re-implementation are mostly agreeable.
Tyler Malinauskas, acting sophomore, said he thinks the rule is fair.
“I find it to be appropriate and fair for incoming freshmen to get roles,” he said. “It gives them a better opportunity to get cast their first year, as well as everybody else.”
Marsh said the results of this rule have already shown to be beneficial.
“I’ve already seen that more different students have been cast this year than in any semester since I’ve been here,” Marsh said.