Southeast Missouri State University student publication

Third annual New Student Showcase coming to the River Campus

Monday, September 3, 2012
Amy Fritsche, New Student Showcase organizer, gives feedback to students performing. Photo by Nathan Hamilton

The New Student Showcase is an event for any student new to the Department of Theatre and Dance or to Southeast Missouri State University.

It is an opportunity for students to show their talent to the theatre and dance faculty and staff, and to the community by performing a scene, singing or dancing.

According to Amy Fritsche, faculty member and organizer of this year's event, there will be four singers, seven acting scenes and 16 dancers.

Fritsche is in charge of selecting the songs and acting scenes. Dance and choreography instructor Philip Edgecombe is in charge of mentoring the dancers.

According to Edgecombe, three senior dance students will choreograph pieces for the showcase.

Amy Fritsche works with Southeast student Gary Corse who is new to the theatre and dance department. Photo by Nathan Hamilton

Leshay Mathis will perform a contemporary routine, Kelcey Matheny a jazz routine and Kara Burley a hip-hop number.

All of the pieces are group dances with no more than seven dancers each.

During the summer, Fritsche selected the pieces that will be showcased, and she will help with technical issues backstage, but her main role is to coach students.

"We give them the idea to create a character and help them mold it," Fritsche said.

Fritsche selected scenes written from 2000 to present.

Although the scene can be set in different time periods, the writer must have written it sometime between the year 2000 and now.

"We are working on very fairly contemporary work," Fritsche said.

There will be five group rehearsals, but students meet with their scene partners to work on their scene together and memorize lines independently.

Students have to provide their own costumes and there will be no music except for in the dance pieces.

Freshman acting major Maclin Schweger will present a scene with a partner that deals with political issues and aliens.

Schweger received his scene recently, so he said his biggest challenge now is getting his lines in correct order.

The New Student Showcase is also a way for performers to support each other.

The event is a product of a big team effort.

Schweger said that he looks at the students in the program now, and he sees how they network with not only students in the department, but with everyone in their class.

"The faculty at SEMO's River Campus is incredible," Schweger said. "Everyone treats their work with so much professionalism, respect for one another and the talent to boot. They all work together as a team, facilitating the needs of their peers to organize what is, in my opinion, a very successful program."

Edgecombe said that students should go to the event because it is exciting to see where freshmen are at this point in the year. He added that this is a very strong class.

"See them where they are, and when you see them on stage this year or in a couple of years, and see how much they've grown. The showcase is just a lot of fun," Edgecombe said.

The River Campus is hosting its third annual New Student Showcase at 7:30 p.m. on Sept. 15 in the Wendy Kurka Rust Flexible Theatre.

"Everyone in the incoming class is incredibly talented and won't disappoint," Schweger said. "Like the football games, this show is our way of showing the school what we can do and how we plan to represent SEMO on the stage."

The event is free and open to Southeast staff, students and parents.