GV STAGE group performed short plays in ‘YIKES!’

Allison Rafferty, Staff Writer

GVL / Aubree Wagner (Aubree L Wagner)

Grand Valley State University student-run theatre organization, STAGE, recently performed their show, “YIKES!”

On Friday, Nov. 5 and Saturday, Nov. 6 the group performed a series of short plays that were all student-written, directed and produced. 

The plays included “Blocked Out,” which tells the story of an author with writer’s block, “Gay A-Wake-Ning,” featuring the story of a baseball player with a crush, and “To Hell With That,” which was about a group of friends that end up together in purgatory. 

Every member of the group had the opportunity to submit a play they wrote. From there, the STAGE eboard selected the ones they felt were the best. 

STAGE Public Relations Officer and advertising and public relations and film and video major, Georgia Hessel, said the board wanted an assortment of differing plays to give the audience a variety. 

They all combine both serious and humorous topics to be both funny and captivating,” Hessel said. 

GVSU Improv Comedy Group, Subject to Change, opened up the performance for STAGE. 

The two groups had previously crossed paths earlier this year, and have plans to continue to work together in the future. 

The whole process of working together was fantastic,” STAGE Treasurer and psychology major, Miles Toriani, said. 

Hessel said that she hopes those who were in attendance left the show feeling compelled to come to more STAGE productions in the future. 

“I love walking out of a theatre and talking about my favorite parts and discussing a show, and it would be great if GVSU community members left doing the same thing,” Hessel said. “Additionally, I’d love for them to laugh, cheer, and be captivated by the overall performance as it goes on.”

Toriani said that he hopes audience members took whatever message that best resonated with them upon their departure from the show. 

“The content of ‘YIKES!’ as a whole is so diverse with so many great themes, messages, and laughs, so whether someone took away something they needed to do in life or even just took away some hurt cheeks from smiling and laughing too hard, then our dream for ‘YIKES!’ has come true,” Toriani said. 

Hessel, Toriani and the rest of the group said being back in person felt like a breath of fresh air. 

Hessel said having faculty and students alike attend shows like ‘YIKES!’ in person has been a way of bringing the GVSU community back together again after the shutdown. 

“It’s so important to have shows like this on campus,” Hessel said. “Having in-person events where students can come support each other is an awesome way to feel connected on campus.”

Toriani credits theatre in general as an escape from the mundaneness of everyday life and said he thinks that attending performances like ‘YIKES!’ is a great way to get a break while also supporting the passions of fellow students. 

“Theatre is a good way for anyone to submerge themselves in a world for a little while to feel enjoyment, anger, sadness, or whatever emotion under the sun,” Toriani said. “Everyone needs a good escape every once in a while and STAGE’s performances are a fantastic way to take a break and be engaged in GVSU students’ theatrical passions. It’s a two-way street really. We enjoy putting on shows more than anything for people to relax and feel involved there with us.”

STAGE will continue to put on performances throughout the school year, and their next performance is set to take place in January.