Any man impersonating President Barack Obama while performing a rendition of Snoop Doggy Dogg’s “Gin and Juice” in front of an audience may come off as a bit abnormal.
Interrupt that speech with a woman blaring rock ‘n’ roll in the back of the house, and most onlookers may become a bit perturbed.
To many, such displays are oddball. For senior theatre majors Alexa Glaser and Tyler Ostrander, however, these displays are simply their lives, the culmination of knowledge and experience garnered from their years in Butler University’s theatre program.
Glaser and Ostrander created their senior project, a production entitled “Living Conditions: A Senior Showcase,” to reflect this knowledge and share it with peers, professors and the general public.
The showcase will be performed in previews Sept. 26 and 27 and will officially run on Sept. 28 and 29.
Gloria Graham, a sophomore theatre major who is stage-managing the show, said “Living Conditions” is a senior production centered around the lives of Glaser and Ostrander as roommates.
“We have skits about how the little moments in life can cause big changes or how big things in life can cause a domino effect,” Graham said.
Presented in a showcase style, Glaser and Ostrander compiled several monologues and scenes, which tackle issues of marriage, freedom of speech and gender roles.
These snippets are interlaced with original skits that they wrote themselves. Glaser and Ostrander said the skits properly represent their personalities and embrace their stereotypes in a comedic light.
Coming from the same high school theatre program, Glaser and Ostrander had always played with the idea of working together.
“We’ve wanted to work together for a long time, and this is one of the best ways we can do it because it’s just us,” Ostrander said. “Instead of the idea of us directing each other—sitting on the sidelines and trying to move everything like a director does—we wanted to stay actors with each other and feed ideas off each other the way actors do.”
With this mentality, Glaser and Ostrander began searching through plays to find a suitable one to produce.
After much thought and frequent meetings with their adviser, theatre professor Diane Timmerman, Glaser and Ostrander decided to gather various scenes and perform a showcase.
“We came to the conclusion with our faculty adviser that we are more actors than directors,” Glaser said. “We wanted to work with each other and work off one another instead of having to be responsible for someone else’s work and not be able to direct ourselves.”
Glaser, Ostrander and Graham have prepared a production full of both drama and comedy—with personal nuances including guest appearances and pizza—after months of working, planning and rehearsing over the summer and into the school year.
“I think they’ve done a terrific job with what they’ve set out to do,” Timmerman said. “They’ve found material that would stretch them in different ways, and I think that this weekend will be successful.”
The showcase will certainly be one of the most personally rewarding performances for both Glaser’s and Ostrander’s careers, even though it will not be their last performance.
“As a senior, it’s a nice way to put a bowtie on what we’ve done here,” Ostrander said. “I feel like there’s been a lot of influence in the show based on what we’ve learned here from our professors, from our peers. It’s really going to be rewarding to show this to everyone.”