The Wartburg Players, a campus theater group, has seen an increase in interest this year. Sarah Gruman, a student on the executive team for the Players, said it is because more first-year students are getting involved.
Austin Petersen, a first-year student involved in the Players, said he has been involved in acting since high school and was excited for the opportunity to continue being involved with theatre.
“I love acting,” Petersen said. “I’m excited to be out onstage and doing something that I like.”
Petersen said he saw the Players at the involvement fair at the beginning of the school year and felt a connection with the people there, and he hopes his experience with the players will help him in the future.
“It’s awesome, people are fun. They’re nice,” Petersen said.
Brian Pfaltzgraff, a faculty adviser for the Players, said he credits the increase of involvement to the work of the student executive board members, and that his favorite part of working with the students is seeing their “unbounded creativity” come to life.
Each year, the Players put on multiple public productions. Some productions are directed by the faculty advisers, while others are directed by the students.
To increase interest in the program, the Players put on “mixer” events with themes and activities, such as evenings of improvisation and mock light saber battles on the campus lawn. These events are open to any student wishing to learn more about the organization.
On Nov. 11, the Players will present “A Parade of Witnesses” by Alan Sloan, a production written to celebrate the birthday of Martin Luther.
Auditions for the show will be held on Monday, Oct. 9 at 7 p.m. and Tuesday, Oct. 10 at 8 p.m.
Petersen said he plans to audition for the show as well as any other upcoming shows in order to be as involved in the Players as he possibly can.
Pfaltzgraff said the first act of the production will consist of short monologues by characters who influenced Luther’s life, while the second act will feature those who were influenced by Luther.
“We get to see what had an effect, and then how he affected the following generations, and that way we cover well over 500 years of civilization,” Pfaltzgraff said.
Pfaltzgraff said he likes the production because it paints Luther as more than just a picture or an icon.
“We tend to think of our church fathers and mothers as these iconic church people,” Pfaltzgraff said, but in this production, “the attempt is made to make Luther absolutely human.”
The production was chosen because this year is the 500th anniversary of the Protestant reformation which was started by Luther. Pfaltzgraff said the production will go on stage on Luther’s birthday.