Res Rep keeps the frosh informed, entertained

BY EMILY ALSCHBACH
For the Daily
Published April 1, 2004

Still searching for your place within the University campus?
Finding a smaller community to join is hard, but everyone can get
through it — it just takes time. Residence Hall Repertory
Theatre offers a comical, instructive take on the tough times
students face while finding their niche in a new environment.

Res Rep is a group of undergraduates who write and perform
original skits. During the summer, the University Housing division
gives the troupe a theme for orientation. With a focus on
acclimating the orientation students with the range of services the
University offers, the incorporation of specific information
challenges the cast. For example, Res Rep’s summer
orientation shows provide information on the University Health
Service’s confidentiality of student records as well about
sexually transmitted diseases and rape facts. Their scripts include
a variety of scenes ranging from hilarious party settings to
serious monologues, which all fall under the same theme.

Res Rep educates new students about what to expect from college
and the experiences they may encounter. Their performances are a
refreshing change from the lectures and warnings from parents and
other adults. “A lot of people hear about us and don’t
know what to expect given the fact that we’re trying to
convey a serious message. But I think they’re pleasantly
surprised to see how Res Rep shows can have meaningful scripts that
pertain to college students and still express messages in humorous
and entertaining ways,” said Engineering sophomore Lauren
Safran, a member of Res Rep.

Res Rep performs during the school year in residence hallsand
again they’re provided with a theme from Housing; this year
it was “Community.” The cast has a lot of room for
creativity since it doesn’t have to include information for
incoming freshmen. Res Rep’s shows revolved around scenes
depicting everything from comical roommate situations to the
frustration students may feel while trying to find their place on
campus.

When issues are tackled in a humorous manner, students feel more
comfortable talking about issues. The theatre troupe understands
what is happening around campus and how students react to their new
environment; Res Rep helps them to discover their place among
peers.

This season, Res Rep stressed the importance of diverse
communities. The members showed that stereotypical community
bondaries don’t exist. Communities can’t be thrust upon
students, and students can’t force communities upon
themselves because they think they “fit” or
“belong” there. The message Res Rep conveys is that
students should take time to forge their own paths, explore
different groups and find people in a closer-knit environment that
make them feel comfortable. Res Rep members feel that students
shouldn’t worry if it doesn’t happen right away or even
after a year. “Students have to work to find a community that
works for them, and when they do, it’s a great thing,”
Safran commented.

Res Rep recently wrapped up another great season, but the
groupé will be around again to entertain the newest group of
freshmen students during this summer’s orientation.