Friday, December 2, 2016

Great news for all Uni High students who love the arts!

We at KCSA are pleased to announce that we officially have approval to accept registration from students who attend University High School in Urbana.  You'll need to have handy your NetID and an email which you check regularly—then you can register just as a UIUC student would.

All the instructions on how to join KCSA can be found on this page.  We also encourage you to check out our Facebook and Instagram for the latest news!

We're currently not holding any General Meetings since finals are coming up, but starting next semester (likely in February, to give people a few weeks to become acclimated to their new schedules) we will meet every TUESDAY AT 6PM somewhere in Krannert Center.  Details on exact meeting place, activities, and food will always appear in both our weekly newsletters and our Facebook events.

Registration to usher Spring 2017 shows begins the week of JANUARY 9, 2017.  So sign up now and complete your training so you're ready!

Looking forward to seeing you around Krannert!

Megan Vescio
KCSA President

Posted on Friday, December 02, 2016 by KCSA

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Wednesday, October 26, 2016

***
Some extra information from the KCSA board:
  • Mr. Burns is a resident production (Illinois Theatre) and ran two weekends: from Oct 13-23.  The play was incredibly successful, selling out or nearing capacity on quite a few nights.  Most of our ushering spots were taken up as well!
  • You may find a compact synopsis here if you haven't seen the show.
  • Many thanks to our new website contributor, Colin Harmony, for attending the show and writing up this wonderful review!  We hope to feature more content like this in the future.  In particular, if you're a KCSA member or Krannert staff member and are interested in being interviewed for a blog segment, we'd love to hear from you!  Please email us at kcsarocks@gmail.com.
***



Mr. Burns, a post-electric play is the kind of production that makes you thankful to be in an audience when watching it, taking in all the exasperated chuckles and hushed interjections that come with each development on the stage.

Starting off in a near-apocalyptic “near future”, the play opens on a group of survivors huddling by a fire. Talking just to talk, keeping up a thread to keep sheer terror abeyant, the survivors feverishly attempt to faithfully piece together the plot of a Simpsons episode that parodies Martin Scorsese’s version of Cape Fear, itself a remake of an earlier film. They find solace and control in getting lines from the episode down pat, and consequently begin to draw out lines from more episodes.  

Through the passage of years, recollections become renditions. These renditions slip past the bounds of ostensible entertainment, approaching the status of an article of faith. Blended memories of TV commercials and song lyrics become coveted source material for stage numbers that function as essential, life-vindicating acts. Before we are suddenly struck with the final horror at the close of Act II, we hear a final question, voiced obliquely, addressing the consequences of such commitment: “What if we picked the wrong religion? We’ll just make god madder and madder.” Beyond this, we hear no more. Act III presents an ideal achieved. But at what cost?

Sound and set design develop in tandem with the play. When we first step into Colwell Playhouse to watch the play, we’re immersed in night, sweet and solemn. After the audience is struck with the jarring reveal that the people sitting by the fire aren’t out in the wilderness for a good time, we readjust our perceptions of the environment, seeing the survivors as exposed to the elements. Beyond the cracking fire, we hear a snap of a twig, the shuffle of something unseen. A droning bass note emerges from the night and stays there, heralding a certain, incipient doom. As in danger as the principals are, they are still on Earth, in an environment that we feel we can, for the most part, readily identify. 

As time carries the survivors farther from the society they once lived in, the set becomes that of a stage within a stage, a world of artifice that, in being treated like life, becomes the real deal. The set changes are built into the proceedings of the play, drawing attention to that very artifice. The rooms that house the action in the final two acts are implacable; seemingly unmoored from the world, we can only guess at what lies beyond them. The portentous bass from the first act sustains through much of the second act, attenuating any link we might desire to identify between shelter and safety. There’s a sense that, should one of the set room wall panels collapse, or the digitized canopy of stars behind the boat shatter, we might glimpse some stygian nightmare beyond. 

The cast is both collectively and individually expert in conveying the stages of departure that the survivors, and ultimately the generations that follow them, arrive at. The principals take the initial stunned terror they convey in Act I and give it a bend, shaping it into a zealous desire for the perfection of their craft. Jordan Coughtry’s portrayal of Gibson is a standout, a nuanced depiction of a person who has no choice but to fight to transfigure bottomless despair and paranoia into something that provides precarious foundation. The switch-on-a-dime dancing sequences, with their breakneck mania, and the songs sung during them, which consist of thin interpolative slices of pop culture artifacts sandwiched together, are without a doubt the comic and virtuosic peak of the play. These performances comprise our foremost thoughts after we walk out of the theater, and not only because of their discursive and wild nature; they leave such an imprint because they carry within them the crux of the play, showing the highest stakes placed in Art as a vehicle for everything that moves and informs us. 

Posted on Wednesday, October 26, 2016 by KCSA

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Wednesday, July 20, 2016


Interested in finding ways to help KCSA other than ushering? Not quite ready for the commitment of being on AdBoard? We now have several schedule-friendly opportunities for our members and fans to get involved and help make Krannert Center an even more student-oriented place! Here are just some of the things we could use help with:

  • Tabling events such as the Volunteer Fair and Krannert Uncorked (we have a SignUpGenius for this if you're interested!)
  • Joining us for board meetings to brainstorm ideas for marketing, general meetings, etc.
  • Writing! Either for our blog or doing an article about us for another campus publication
  • Designing posters
  • Distributing posters and flyers
  • Helping us run the database/general office work
  • Simple word of mouth!

If any of this interests you, please don't hesitate to shoot us an email!

Posted on Wednesday, July 20, 2016 by KCSA

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