Theatre Program Premieres Student-Directed Play Written by W&J Alumnus

Created: March 4, 2015
Last Updated: January 17, 2020

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WASHINGTON, PA (March 3, 2015) — When a play written by a W&J alumnus fell into the hands of a rising W&J senior last spring, it gave the College’s theatre students the opportunity to do something truly unique: produce a play written, directed and acted by W&J students.

A dedicated group of seven thespians—five cast members, a director and technical director—all current W&J students, put together a production of the comedy “Sometimes You Just Gotta Get in There,” which was performed at the College in March.

Written by W&J alumnus Drew Aloe ’09, “Sometimes You Just Gotta Get in There” made its premiere in spring 2014 as a read-through at the College. Senior Carley Adams of Peters Township, Pa., who directed the W&J production, participated in the read-through and sought permission from Aloe to perform the one-act.

“We picked Drew’s play for a few reasons,” said Adams. “First, because this is all student-run, we jumped at the chance to showcase a play written by a former student. Second, the play is a comedy and an extremely well-written one at that, and since our department does mostly dramas, we saw this as a great opportunity for some variety of genre. And finally, the piece is completely contemporary. It takes place in the present day and focuses on ‘millennial’ characters, making it so relatable to college students.”

“Sometimes You Just Gotta Get in There” features the slightly neurotic romantic Bruce, played at W&J by junior Mackie Jakobs. When Bruce unexpectedly runs into an eccentric “friend” from his past (Ty Greenwood ‘17), what starts off as a simple coffee date quickly turns into a chaotic adventure of epic proportions. Along the way, Bruce learns that love works in strange ways as he encounters Robyn (Emily Riazzi ‘17), Gwen (Twiggy Carter-Croom ‘16) and Mia (Amiti Sharma ‘17), and discovers that sometimes, “you just gotta get in there.”

Adams and technical director, senior Jim Kappas of Baden, Pa., cast the production and began the process of putting together a show on their own.

“As an actor, I have only ever had creative control over the characters I played,” said Adams. “The coolest but most intimidating thing about switching from actor to director is that now I can take a little creative license with all the characters in the show. It’s a lot of pressure at times, but luckily, this cast of students is bursting at the seams with talent.”

The complete creative control of the never-performed show lies with the cast, a unique experience for those involved. Jakobs, who appeared on stage for only the second time with this show, said “I really enjoy that it is a contemporary play because it makes it modern. The character is easily relatable, dialogue is realistic and the costuming is really minimal—because of that we can focus on fine-tuning the craft of acting.”

Sophomore Emily Riazzi of Girard, Pa. also was glad of the experience. “It is good knowing that we are capable of accomplishing something incredible on our own,” she said.

About Washington & Jefferson College

Washington & Jefferson College, located in Washington, Pa., is a selective liberal arts college founded in 1781. Committed to providing each of its students with the highest-quality undergraduate education available, W&J offers a traditional arts and sciences curriculum emphasizing interdisciplinary study and independent study work.

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