Daily Archives: April 18, 2013

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‘Suddenly Last Summer’ this spring

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Rachel Balsley
Editor-in-Chief

When you walk into the theatre to see the spring production of “Suddenly Last Summer,” you will not be greeted by a gut busting script you may be used to. Prepare yourselves for the darkness.
Tennessee William’s script is somewhat abnormal and very heavy, leaving you questioning life rather than wiping tears of joy from your cheek. As described by almost every cast member, this show is very dark.
“It’s more dark and serious than anything else I’ve done at Wesleyan,” said sophomore Paul Kaufmann who plays George Holly and provides some of the only laughs in the show.
However, despite the mood of the play, the cast and crew have worked very hard to put on an excellent production, something our community has come to expect from the Theatre Department. Twice a year we are astounded by good acting and impressive sets, no matter the content being performed, and this is no exception.
“It’s been a lot of hard work,” said junior Gabbie Mokol whop acted as assistant director to Dr. Sally Shedd. “A lot of hard work went into the set.”
As soon as you walk in, you can tell just how much effort and skill went into it. The stage is adorned with a full size tree, pond, wall and an entire front porch. It scales to the ceiling and offers everything actors need for the entire play. The characters are able to interact with the set and utilize its size and complexity, even though the plot is relatively simple.
The story follows two women. An older lady by the name of Violet Venable, played by Tristan Hart, who lost her son the summer before and Kathy, played by junior Ada van Tine, her niece who was present at his death and has a horrible secret tucked away. They are accompanied by various other characters, including Dr. Cukrowicz or “Dr. Sugar” played by freshman Robert Sanders, who is steady in his performance.

“The other show I was in was ‘Noises Off.’ It was fun and crazy and this is dark and crazy,” said Sanders.

“It’s definitely the most dramatic show I’ve been in here,” said senior Sarah Imbesi, who plays Kathy’s mother Mrs. Holly. “My character has a transformation through the show. She starts off as a comic relief, and she gets more dramatic.”
All the characters have both dark and light times, but the overall tone of the show is dismal, requiring strong acting styles from all involved, no matter how big or small the part.
“I think all of the cast is dedicated to the show,” said van Tine.
The dedication is much needed, because nothing about this show is entirely simple. The extensive set and demanding roles are just a few factors that make this a complicated show to produce. Hair, makeup and costumes were also quite complex.
“I feel like the most challenging part is the old age makeup. It’s so tedious,” said first time hair and makeup artist freshman Khari Johnson. “But finding the colors to match the costumes, that just came naturally.”
Makeup was the real challenge when it came to having to transform a young Hart into an older woman who can barely walk. Costumes included tight dresses, two white suits and a nun’s uniform.
Wearing the nun costume was sophomore Alyana Mack, who considers her part funny, though she delivers a powerful performance as Sister Felicity. As a nun at St. Mary’s, she is charged with taking care of Kathy in her weakened mental state. With piercing eyes and will power, she both controls and helps Kathy throughout the show.
The most demanding roles and performances, however, came from Hart and van Tine. The leading women faced not only challenging costuming, but also the demands of a dramatic performance.
Hart’s character spends half the show talking about almost nothing, and the other half sending daggers at Kathy and releasing her rage, which Hart does effortlessly. She commands attention from the characters, but from the audience as well. Hart is a refreshing new face to Wesleyan’s stage, bringing power and experience to the show.
“It’s enthralling. I love being a part of a theatre group again,” said Hart with a big smile under her elderly makeup that takes up to an hour to put on each day. “The people here are great. I wish I was a Marlin!”
Hart, who does not attend Wesleyan, got involved with the show due to connections with Mokol and senior Sara Bell, who plays one of two Miss Foxhills, her understudy being freshman Ashley Williams. Bell and Williams are quiet, but sharp in their performances of Miss Foxhill.
Van Tine also won a difficult role, charged with being mentally unstable for the entire show, her part demanding the dramatic portrayal of every emotion Kathy feels, including confusion, rage and sorrow. Van Tine accomplishes this gracefully, bringing the audience into Kathy’s muddled mind and on the emotional rollercoaster that she goes through. Her simple and passionate gazes, tone and stage presence convey to the audience the desperation, hopelessness and guilt Kathy feels at any given moment during the play.

“It’s pretty challenging,” said van Tine about her role and the show as a whole. “I feel very lucky to be a part of this.”

While some of the script can drag on due to the content, including very lengthy explanations of vacations and the garden, the heart of the show shines, even if it leaves you less than optimistic about our world. One of the most striking, and somewhat upsetting messages comes when Kathy says, “Is that what love is? Using people? And maybe that’s what hate is – not being able to use people.”
While this, and other things, go unanswered in the play, the show itself is powerful. You may not be chipper after, but you will have witnessed yet another theatrical success on our stage.
To see the show, go to the Fine Arts building tonight, Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. For ticket information, please call 757-455-3381.

North Korea’s threats hit home

Jessica Mackey
Staff Writer

Is it time to bring back the old time bunkers from the Cold War era? Are we back into a constant threat of nuclear war? The answer may surprise you.
Over the past few weeks, North Korea’s leader Kim Jung Un has openly and belligerently threatened the U.S. and South Korea with a nuclear attack. However, the plausibility of such an attack is unknown. What is known is that the likelihood of a nuclear missle, or any missile for that matter, hitting the Continental U.S. or Hawaii is very slim, if not impossible. Thus, we should be safe from any potential attacks.
Some experts do believe that North Korea has the capabilities to attack South Korea and various military bases throughout the Pacific. The only question left to answer is will there be an actual attack? If so, when will it occur? And more importantly, where will North Korea attack first?
“Obviously I’m concerned. I think Kim Jung Un is just trying to assert his authority by making all these statements,” said freshman Alexis Turner-Lafving when asked about the plausibility of an attack by North Korea. “I think that by pulling out the factory that North Korea operates with South Korea, there’s a power play to emphasize North Korea’s dominance. I just think that North Korea is blowing smoke, trying to freak everyone out and get what they want.”
The aftermath of the threats have left the U.S. and the international community in unchartered waters. The U.S. and other countries have to protect their respective citizens’ safety and well-being by all measures necessary, including enhancing defensive measures and practicing delicate diplomacy.
However, not all students believe that the U.S. or the international community is doing to enough to prevent North Korea from following through on their threats.
“I definitely feel like it’s only a matter of time before North Korea takes some sort of action,” said senior Adult Studies student Franchesica Middleton. “I don’t advocate a first strike from the international community against North Korea, but I feel like they haven’t done anything to halt the threats and future capabilities of North Korea’s nuclear program.”
Moreover, other students do not agree with the initial response by the United States, with the U.S. pushing aside the threats made by North Korea as an act of juvenile behavior akin to simply having a temper tantrum.
“I think we should take the threats seriously by the North Koreans, even though things such as this have happened in the past,” said senior Tiffany Oglethorpe. “They have continued to threaten us, and while we should not go to war or directly attack them since they have not taken any action against us, there needs to be some type of affirmative action against them. They think they can get away with threats and negative action against South Korea. But they have clearly learned nothing and their actions need to be corrected.”
No matter the initial response by the United States, the government has caught on to the ever increasing worry and concern the citizens have on the continuous North Korean threats. The U.S. has increased their military presence in the Pacific and is keeping negotiations open and clear with many Asian countries and other allies in efforts to peacefully resolve the issues of the North Koreans.
Hopefully, North Korea doesn’t attack any country or risk the danger of any citizen by firing off a test missile over open land and sea space. However, if they do decide to do so, the U.S. is ready and able to defend itself. No matter the result, the debate over nuclear weapons and warheads is going to be forever changed. Maybe this is the beginning to a new era of nuclear war.

Fear the new, improved fish

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Alex Tatum
Staff Writer

For 10 years athletic events on campus have been made more spirited by our mascot, Bob Marlin. But this year, Bob Marlin may be getting a transformation, and he needs all the help he can get.
Bob Marlin has been our mascot since 1963 and his presence has a huge impact on our community.
“We feel like Bob Marlin is the face of the college, so that’s why we [the students] want Bob to represent all of the students,” said junior Emilie McIntosh. “Bob can be the rallying point for everybody, so that when people see Bob, they get pumped up and thinking about the school.”
Bob Marlin’s current costume is a more contemporary version of the original and the result of an assignment in Dr. Doug Kennedy’s Recreation and Leisure Services Management II class in 2003. In addition to the new costume design, the students also provided the mascot a name. In the 2011-2012 issue of the “Marlin Magazine,” Kennedy explained how the students came up with Bob’s name.
“We started discussing the name, and one of the students suggested ‘Bob Marlin’ in partial recognition of the reggae performer and perennial student favorite Bob Marley,” said Kennedy. “The whole class immediately agreed. I don’t see that often in classes!”
While the old Bob Marlin was able to get people pumped for the games, some found issue with his look.
“We felt it was a time for change, and we wanted the new Bob to be more modern,” said junior Jennifer Schrum, a member of the team looking to update the uniform.
Along with improving Bob’s look, the team believes the costume needs to be more functional.
“It tends to knock people over when it goes up in the stands,” said McIntosh. “It was really hard to get people who were willing to get into the costume because the climate control unit in it is broken. So, you get really hot really fast.”
In order to make a new mascot costume that solved design and functionality, the class had to go through an overwhelming process.
“Last spring, the Recreation Management II class went and did several things. They contacted five mascot companies and got design ideas from them,” said Kennedy. “They had focus groups and went around and spoke to faculty, staff and students to get their input.”
After interviewing 300 people, the class had to refine the concept and choose one of the design companies. After many revisions, the design was reviewed by the president of the college, athletic director and vice president for student affairs for more input.

“Last year, we went through about 10 different designs,” said Kennedy.

More input and revisions were made until the design was approved by the Administrative Council.
Now that the design and plan has been completed, students, faculty and alumni have the opportunity to donate money to improve the mascot.
“We have to raise $5,400 to bring Bob to campus. And how we’re trying to do that is through crowdsourcing,” explained McIntosh. “We set up a site on indiegogo, which is a crowdsourcing site. And anybody can go and make $1 donation, or you could make a $1,000 donation. It doesn’t matter.”
If donating online isn’t for you, there is still a way you can help.
“Other than our indiegogo site, we have a table [set out] in the Batten Center and we’re trying to get people who are just walking around to donate,” said Schrum.
When people make donations to this project they can receive incentives, ranging from a handwritten thank you letter to four tickets to a VWC Men’s Basketball game of their choice.
If the funds are raised, a new Bob will be swimming through the crowds and pumping up teams onto victory next year.

Cirque du Soleil amazes Hampton Roads

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Shanisha Branch
Staff Writer

Dazzling, eye-popping, jaw-dropping and just plain fun is what describes Cirque du Soleil’s “Quidam.” This worldwide traveling circus came to Hampton Roads at Old Dominion University’s Ted Constant Convocation Center. The event showed for four days, usually with two show times. From a headless stranger with a blue bowler hat to balancing acts in free fall, there was something to be enjoyed by everyone.
The word “quidam” in French means a stranger or passerby, everyone and no one. The performance is dreamt up by a bored young girl, Zoé, who is ignored by her parents, and she unmistakably hears footsteps by a headless man with an umbrella. Once she takes his bowler hat she is possessed by the world of quidam. Cirque du Soleil is not any regular circus; there are no animals on skates, men on tight ropes or stilts and no acts involving a ring master. The acts are adopted from around the world which makes them unique and irreplaceable. The show feels more like a play than a circus with both a cast and acts divided into each scene. It is entirely nonverbal all their movements are in sync with whimsical music. This is why Cirque du Soleil is a big name in the world of contemporary circus.
The show begins with John, a part-time game show host and part-time substitute teacher. His job is to get the audience involved. With bizarre make up and diverting theatrics, he keeps the crowd amused, at all costs. As the story progresses, the more serious scenes involve more dangerous acts. The aerial contortion in silk act is one that displays the perplexity of balance on silk. A woman is suspended in the air only by two long portions of silk that is holding her up. She maneuvers the silk into numerous positions that allow her to intertwine, clasp and dislodge herself in mid-air temporarily, defying gravity. She performs this feat to melancholy music while captivating the audience into the serene atmosphere. One of the most compelling scenes of the show is the statue act. It contains two performers of immaculate flexibility and pure strength. Together, they balance and suspend off of each other through persistent concentration to achieve indescribable angles. These acts give the circus a more profound meaning by testing the true inner strength of the human body.
For the young at heart, there are a view acts that relate to a traditional feel of the circus. The scene that premieres the clown is one that displays this conventional act in a whole new light. This act is no common clown act with balloon animals and trick flowers; the scene involves a clown dressed in suit and hat and without make-up. For this act the backlights are brought up for the clown to get a better view of the audience. The act is entirely interactive with the spectators. He comes out with an old-fashioned movie camera and a slate used by onlookers he chooses from the crowd to act out his paramount movie. This scene is at a point in the play where the story leaves from a dramatic performance to provide the audience with a little comic relief. The diabolos scene takes yo-yoing to a whole different level. A diabolo or Chinese yo-yo is a child’s game that contains a spool and a string tied to two sticks. However, this common game is reengineered into an impressive skill. The scene involves a man with a string and a diabolo. He starts out displaying his talent with one yo-yo by tossing it in the air at unbelievable heights and having it land perfectly. As the act progresses he adds additional yo-yos, tossing and catching them, engrossing the audience with his rhythmic rendition of this classical game.
Another traditional act in any circus is juggling. The juggler uses red spheres, a bowler hat, umbrella and briefcase to display his talent. Normal jugglers tend to use the same objects; however, this juggler uses at least four spheres and an umbrella, all while balancing a sphere on his nose. These performances, though common for a circus, all add a touch of charisma that is unique to this contemporary circus.
Don’t underestimate this circus as a usual show. It uses traditional themes to entice you and a story line that will hypnotize you. With many unfathomable mid-air acts, it makes you question what your eyes are seeing. Cirque du Soleil’s “quidam” is an enchanting world where everyone’s imagination comes to life. Prepare to be in awe of this performance and stunned by the characters, acts and witty storytelling that will blow you away. Cirque du Soleil is no ordinary circus but a genre of its own.

Extended roadwork, extended headache

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Steven bond
Staff Writer

Every person exiting our school by vehicle ends up on Wesleyan Drive.
According to Vice President of Operations Bruce Vaughan, Wesleyan Drive has been going through construction since “the end of last summer.”
“[The City of Virginia Beach and City of Norfolk] combined forces, and Norfolk has somewhat given the leadership to Virginia Beach on this project,” said Vaughan on the topic of part of the road being in Virginia Beach and the other in Norfolk.
Also according to Vaughan, the federal government has a part in this project as well.
“It is one of the stimulus funded projects, so there is some federal money in it as well,” said Vaughan.
Despite the fact there are many factors involved to aid in this project, the original date construction was supposed to end has been extended. Construction was supposed to end in the fall, which clearly did not occur.
“That is not going to happen,” said Vaughn. “They have had a lot of, apparently, in ground complications.”
Because of this project’s extension, people will have to deal with the troubles of its constructions longer.
“It drives me nuts,” said freshman commuter Cheyenne Kotary. “I have to leave earlier in the morning because I fight traffic.”
The construction has made traffic more congested on Wesleyan Drive, which hinders students on campus, visitors and makes people change their routine. Even though there are negative impacts of construction, there are numerous positives that the construction will bring about when it is completed.
The map of the master plan reveals the previous two-lane highway will become a four-lane road. This should make traffic flow more smoothly and reduce congestion.
The map also shows there will also be a filter lane to turn left onto campus. Now, there is no filter lane and cars have to wait to turn left, which makes all the cars behind them stop.
Additionally, there will be a stop light put in. This will not only help people entering and exiting campus, but also the security guards that conduct traffic. The traffic lights were not always a definite addition in the construction plans.

Marlins splash into spring semester activities

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Douglas Hardman
Staff Writer

As we make our way into the spring semester, Marlins return to their natural habitat: the water. On April 12, the Student Activities Council and Greek Life held the Annual Belly Flop Contest. The prize for first place (dependent on four categories: Creativity, Redness, Commitment and Sound) was a $25 WaWa gift card. Second and third place both received a $20 gift card for Wawa.
Although only five out of the seven people who signed up came out, they were still full of enthusiasm and a crowd of people was there to cheer them on.
“This was a really fun event to put together and it was nice to see people coming out as a community and cheering the contestants on,” said freshman and Director of VWC and Beyond Ryan Breen.
This annual event brought many students, not only members of Greek Life, out to support the contestants as they belly flopped, flipped and splashed to win the prize, bragging rights and have some fun. There was cheering, clapping and the occasional shudder as our contestants hit the water.
“I’ve been to the past competitions and I chose to participate this year because it’s just very fun to be a part of and it can be relaxing,” said senior and President of Phi Sigma Sigma sorority Tierra “TJ” Jackson.
Jackson took home the first place prize with her creative and enthusiastic splashes and earned her the Belly Flop trophy.

“I had a lot of fun at the contest and was excited to win second place, even if it hurt a lot,” said senior Randy Rice, a member of Sigma Nu.

“It was a wonderful experience and everyone that came out to participate or support was lively, though I wish that there had been more participants because it really is just a fun experience,” said third place winner sophomore Jules Whitehurst, who is also in Sigma Nu.
“This competition has been going on for several years,” said Director of Student Activities and Greek Life Jennifer Mitchell. “It really is just something fun for the students to participate in and it also brings the community together.”
With a great turnout of supporters and enthusiastic participants, this year’s Belly Flop contest was definite fun and will surely continue in following years.
In other water related news, the Office of Recreation and Outdoor Sports is teaming up with Dive Quarters in Virginia Beach to get a select few certified for scuba diving.
On April 28, May 4 and May 5, students who register will be able to attend a Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI) Basic Open Water Certification class taught by professionally trained Dive Quarters experts. Class begins at 8 a.m. and, once certified, the students will participate in open water dives. Registration is still open and costs $400, which includes the certification class, four open water dives and personal gear as needed. A $100 deposit is required upon registration. Please contact Jason Seward for more information.