Temple Theater has a Spotlight in the Wilma Theater’s “Passing Strange”

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Owls are everywhere… even in a Tony Award-winning rock musical!

The Wilma Theater is putting on the musical of a lifetime, Passing Strange, a story of a rebellious young black man as he journeys to Europe in search of something “real.” The music takes center stage as the audience travels from gospel-soaked South Central LA, through psychedelic Amsterdam, to militant Berlin and back. This incendiary musical is a rowdy salve for turbulent times: a young punk screaming in defiance of the void, with a thrilling onstage band.

Temple students might see some familiar faces in the Wilma’s electric musical.

Lindsay Smiling, a Temple alum and staff member in Temple University’s School of Theater, Film and Media Arts and Savannah Jackson, a Temple student are featured in the energized ensemble.

Lindsay Smiling, a member of Wilma’s HotHouse company, plays a variety of wacky characters as the settings change in the show. Smiling goes from playing the eccentric choir director, Mr. Franklin in  Los Angeles, to laid back, free hippie, Joop in Amsterdam, to stern Nowhaus member, Hugo in Berlin.

Temple students might remember Savannah Jackson in her role of Reggie during in the adored production of Kristoffer Diaz’s Reggie Hoops from Temple Theater’s 2016-2017 season.

In Passing Strange, Savannah Jackson also goes through a character journey. The Temple student starts the show playing “choir girl next door,” Edwina Williams, and concludes it as Sudabey, an avant-garde filmmaker. Jackson’s role as Marianna, a hippie the main character, “Youth,” encounters in Amsterdam, is a gift to the show. Her vocals in “Keys” echoes through the theater and solidifies her stunning capabilities as both an actress and musician.

From January 10th through February 18th, The Wilma Theater is showcasing Passing Strange.

Student tickets are only $10.

Philadelphia Auto Show Excites Temple Students

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Temple students, Heather Goodman, Julia Laitman, Skyeler O’Brien, and Will Stickney pose with a Toyota for a scavenger hunt

The Philadelphia Auto Show is the latest attraction for Temple students to check out.

An amazing array of cars, free promotions and an opportunity to see Temple University’s engineering students show off their race car; what could be better?

Companies like Toyota encourage students to use Instagram in order to get free prizes while Jeep has a roller coaster-like course where they show off the extreme capabilities of their newest models of cars.

Julia Laitman, an early education major at Temple University said, “I liked all of the promotions because I got to view some cool products and got hand warmers out of it!”

The show is incredibly interactive and has a lot of different components to entertain everyone.
The idea that “owls are everyone” is evident at the show being that Temple University’s very own engineering students have a car on the floor. Expect to see a single seat race car with a Temple “T” on it!

The auto show is taking place at the Pennsylvania Convention Center from January 28th-February 5th with tickets costing $14.

Temple Theater’s Sidestage Presents Colaizzo’s “Really, Really”

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Temple Theater’s Sidestage is set to premiere their first production of the semester, Paul Downs Colaizzo’s play, “Really, Really.”

I had the opportunity to chat with the student director of “Really, Really,” Peter Loikits, about the show.

What is “Really, Really” about?

“Really, Really” is a contemporary drama that pushes the edges and embraces the harsh reality of today’s youth. At an elite university, when the party of the year results in the regret of a lifetime, one person will stop at nothing to salvage a future that is suddenly slipping away. In this quick-witted and gripping comic tragedy about ‘Generation Me,’ it’s every man for himself.

What should audience members get out of the show?

This play opens up a conversation about rape on a college campus, and how our generation handles such situations. I wanted to explore toxic masculinity in male culture and how that affects how men treat women and how we view rape. As a society we are not cracking down hard enough on rapists, we see this with Brock Turner, David Decker, John Enoch, and countless others who have gotten shortened sentences because of reasonings such as “impeding their college experience.” We even, now, have a president-elect that has been recorded saying how he commits sexual assault, and he still gets elected president.  The American people as a whole, have not fully grasped the severity of rape culture, and how damaging it is to 1 out of every 3 women in this country. There is an epidemic happening in our nation; it’s time we start confronting the issue head on and stop pretending it is not a major issue.

How long did it take to get the final product?

The rehearsal process was about a month and half.

What was it like directing the show?

As a director, and as a male, approaching the topic of rape can be complicated. Especially with a play that is graphic in its depiction, it was my main priority to have a safe space for my actors, especially the women in the cast, to explore the topic. Also creating trust within the cast was a priority.

What was your favorite part about directing the show?

My favorite part was the cast. They are such a joy to work with, and become friends. As a student director I walk a fine line between a peer and an authority figure, but this cast has been great and we have all become great friends.

Temple students can see “Really, Really” on November 18th at 7:30pm and November 19th at 2pm and 7:30pm at the Temple Performing Arts Center.

Tickets are available for $5 for students at Temple Theater’s Sidestage’s website.

Falling for MCPB’s Fall Festival

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fall-templeIt finally feels like Autumn, here at Temple University. Fall is the time for flannels, crunching leaves, pumpkin spice lattes, and most importantly, MCPB’s “The Fall Harvest” event.

The event will be taking place from 2pm-5pm on October 26 at the Bell Tower.

There will be a number of activities for students to participate in including a donut eating contest, pumpkin and mason jar painting, MCPB giveaways and tons of games. Students will also be provided with free food and drinks.

Students are encouraged to stop by after classes in order to participate in the fall fun.

“[the Fall Harvest] is a great way to have fun and help spread the word about MCPB,” said Brendon Rothrock, a member of MCPB.

Use the hstag #FallingForMCPB and follow @templemcpb to follow event and gain exclusive information on the event.

Get Your Groove on for Temple’s Tashan

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logoTemple University’s South Asian Students Society (SASS) will be hosting its second Tashan dance competition on Saturday, October 22nd at 6pm at the Temple Performing Arts Center (TPAC).

Like many students, I was intrigued by this event, but wanted to know more. I reached out to Temple’s South Asian Students Society to learn a bit more about this exciting competition.


What is the event (for students that do not know)?

Tashan is a dance competition that we, SASS, have started to hold since last year. It is mainly centered around South Asian dance.Twelve teams, in total, decide to compete with six of the teams being Bhangra teams,which perform traditional indian dances and six fusion dances which perform a variation of dances.

What will students/audience members expect from attending the event?

Audiences that attend will see twelve teams from across different college campuses in America competing in their respective type of dance. It is a cool event for anyone interested in dance, South Asian culture, or just new experiences

What charity do the proceeds go to?

The charity we have chosen this year is FIMRC, a club on campus that is part of a larger organization which tends to health clinics around the world. Any money we make off of the event and the after party goes to this organization to maintain their clinics


How are Temple students involved?

Temple students are involved by either being on the board organizing this large event, acting as guides for the teams that compete who are new to the Temple area, or working backstage for the competition.
Students can purchase tickets from the Tashan competition website or in person at the Student Center. Tickets are $10 for Temple students with an ID.

Can’t Stop the Beat for Temple’s Production of Hairspray

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Hairspray opens October 12 and runs through October 23 at Tomlinson Theater.
Hairspray opens October 12 and runs through October 23.

It’s time to trade in the classic Temple clothing, cheesesteaks, and outrageous sports fans of North Philly for the revolutionary streets of 1960s Baltimore with Temple University’s production of Hairspray

Hairspray tells the incredible story of Tracy Turnblad, as she rises to fame in Baltimore, Maryland on the “Corny Collins Show” and her pursuit for social justice. Tracy utilizes her fame to integrate the variety show. The famous musical resonates with past and present audiences due to its themes of inclusion, equality and racism. While the musical will have viewers dancing in their seats with the classics, “Nicest Kids in Town” and “Without Love,” it will also encourage audience members to reflect on its relevant messages. Sets are painted in bright oranges, pinks and greens, while costumes stay true to the 1960s fashion one may see in movie versions of the play. Group numbers show off the vast array of talent in the cast, with perfectly synced dance numbers and strong vocal performances.

Peter Reynolds, the director of the musical, stated “it takes a village to make a musical” at Temple Theatre department’s practicum on October 14th. A main focus of the meeting was discussing “why now.” Why perform a musical set in the 60s in modern days? Reynolds enforced the relevance of the topics of racism and exclusion and how these stories must continue to be told until change is made.

The actors and crew members have spent four and a half weeks rehearsing Hairspray, and the practice certainly paid off.

Hairspray has had a successful week so far, selling out its night performance on the 15th.

Audience members are raving with reviews!

Travoye Joyner, an acting major at Temple University, exclaimed, “the show was incredible! I love that Temple Theatre did this show because its themes connect to things happening in society right now! The plus-size shame, African American oppression and more.”

Temple’s production will be housed in Tomlinson Theater from October 12th-23rd and will feature the University’s talented array of students. Tickets are $10 with a TUId and can be purchased in person or online through the School of Theater, Film, and Media Arts website.

Cold Season at Temple University

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Temple's Student Health Services resource is located on 1810 Liacouras Walk (across from the Fox School of Business) on the fourth floor.
Temple’s Student Health Services resource is located on 1810 Liacouras Walk (across from the Fox School of Business) on the fourth floor.

It seems as if anywhere you go on Temple’s campus a guaranteed sniffle and cough will await one’s arrival. That can only mean one thing: the dreaded cold season.

I recently chatted with Dr. Maria Pellecchia from Temple’s Student Health Services to seek some rewarding tips on the common cold.

What seems to be what most Temple students are sick with?

The vast majority of our Temple students are visiting Student Health with colds. These symptoms include a combination of coughing, stuffy nose, runny nose, sore throats, and head congestion.

What should Temple students do in order to get over their sickness?

It is important to understand that there is NO cure for a cold. Antibiotics DO NOT cure the common cold. But there are some remedies that might help ease some symptoms and keep the person to feel better, but symptoms can often linger 1-2 weeks.

If a student is asthmatic or immune compromised or if experiencing worsening symptoms, they need to come in for an evaluation quickly.

The helpful suggestions include:

  • Stay hydrated. Water, juice, clear broth or warm tea with honey help loosen congestion and prevent dehydration. Avoid alcohol, coffee and caffeinated sodas, which can make dehydration worse.
  • Rest. Your body needs to heal.
  • Soothe a sore throat. A saltwater gargle — 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon salt dissolved in an 8-ounce glass of warm water — can temporarily relieve a sore or scratchy throat. Swish and Spit out about 3 times a day.
  • Combat stuffiness. Over-the-counter saline nasal drops and sprays can help relieve stuffiness and congestion.
  • Relieve pain. Take either acetaminophen or ibuprofen according to package directions.
  • Sip warm liquids. A cold remedy used in many cultures, taking in warm liquids, such as chicken soup, tea, or warm apple juice, might be soothing and might ease congestion by increasing mucus flow.
  • Add moisture to the air.  A cool mist vaporizer or humidifier can add moisture to your home, which might help loosen congestion. Change the water daily, and clean the unit according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Don’t use steam, which hasn’t been shown to help and may cause burns.
  • Try over-the-counter (OTC) cold and cough medications. For adults, over the counter cold meds might offer some symptom relief. However, they won’t prevent a cold or shorten its duration, and most can some side effects.
  • NO smoking and avoid secondhand smoke.
  • If not improving or symptoms worsen, a student must come in for an evaluation.

What are ways a student can prevent themselves from getting sick?

Unfortunately the common cold is very common. We recommend frequent hand washing using soap, avoid sharing drinks and dressing weather appropriately.

What is your advice for freshmen that are sick away from home for the first time?

It is very common for freshmen students to get sick. Often it is from a change in environment, a flare of their underlying seasonal allergies,  accompanied by exposure to many students. It is important to understand that these symptoms often can linger 1-2 weeks. Over the counter cold medications may be helpful. If someone is asthmatic or immune compromised or if not improving, they should visit Student Health Services for an evaluation.

For more information or to schedule an appointment, visit the Student Health Services building on 1810 Liacouras walk or visit their website.

Free Philly Orchestra Concert for College Students

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The Philadelphia Orchestra will be performing Hector Berlioz’s enchanting “Symphonie Fantastique”charles_dutoit_and_the_philadelphia_orchestra_concert_in_tianjin for a crowd of college students on September 21, 2016. The best part? It is free!

Every year, the accomplished Philadelphia Orchestra offers a “Free College Concert” in order to promote their eZseatU program. The program allows for college students to see the entire season for only $25.

The Berlioz performance kicks off at 8pm at the Verizon Hall in the Kimmel Center. Following the concert, there will be a reception in the Kimmel Center lobby full of live music and free food.

Students must have their student ID on hand and must reserve their tickets on the Philadelphia Orchestra’s website. The seats are first come first serve.


Going Southbound for “South Pacific”

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Beautiful, tropical scenery, catchy music and witty dialogue from the 1940s! What more could someone want for the weekend?!

Walnut Street TheatreWhile most Temple students were watching the Eagles game on Sunday, my roommate, Olivia, and I ventured down to the Walnut Street Theatre to see their production of Rodger and Hammerstein’s South Pacific.

South Pacific tells the story of a nurse, Nellie (Kate Fahrner), a lieutenant, Lieutenant Cable (Ben Michael), and a gaggle of army men and island natives during wartime in the 1940s.

Nellie falls in love with a French plantation owner on an island off the coast of Asia. The ditsy nurse runs into a conflict when she finds out that the frenchman has a dark past. Along with Nellie, Cable also has a dynamic story. While in the South Pacific, the strapping lieutenant falls in love with an unlikely character. He faces a challenge; does he choose love or go on a mission that could help America win the war.

The biggest surprise of the production had to be the quirky cameo made by Orange is the New Black’s star, Lori Tan Chinn who is known for her character, Chang. In the production, Chinn plays Bloody Mary, the enchanting trader of the island.

As soon as we entered the theatre, we were greeted by beautiful, tall, green palm trees that made the audience crave a tropical juice in hand and the wondrous sounds of gentle waves crashing.

Needless to say, the stage design was breathtaking.

The audience was stunned by all of the larger than life dance numbers along with the tear-jerking ballads. The fan-favorite of the show had to be the production’s rendition of “Honey Bun,” in which the Nellie sings in an oversized Navy uniform, serenading Luther Billis (Fran Prisco) who sports a picture of a ship on his bare stomach.

Overall, the production was a success earning an eager standing ovation from the audience.

Want to see South Pacific? The production takes place from September 6th-October 23rd. Tickets cost $20-$95.

Love and Heartbreak at an Adele Concert

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Laura is what you would call the ultimate Adele fan.

Everytime she listens to the British singer, she closes her eyes, moves with the music and lets out passionate hums.  When she heard Adele was coming to the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, she immediately began to cry, literally. It was her prophetic mission to acquire tickets to see her soulful idol. Little did Laura realize that what she expected to be the best night of her freshman year, would soon turn sour.Adele

Laura waited to purchase the tickets on September 9th, the day of the show. Due to limited availability, Laura turned to the ever so reliant website, Craigslist.

“I needed to see the show,” said Laura. 

There, she locked down two tickets on the ground level, one for her and a fellow Temple student, each costing $150. The two girls traveled to Center City to acquire the tickets. The exchange was brief, but the ladies got the tickets and that was all that mattered in the moment.

“When I went to Center City, something felt so off.”

Laura prepared for the night. She got dressed up in her favorite dress, grabbed her ticket, and left her dorm room expecting to come home from a memorable experience.

But when she got to the ticket booth, the usher tried over and over again to scan her ticket. The tickets were fake.

“Everytime they scanned the tickets, it would say stop. It always says go unless the tickets are fake.”

Being the ticket did not grant the Temple students into the Wells Fargo Center, they were escorted to the box office. The tickets would have been another $200.

“Sorry. There’s nothing we can do,” said those at the Wells Fargo Center.

They had no other option than to wait outside of the concert venue.

Laura called her mom and started sobbing. “I was heartbroken.”

All of a sudden, a police car rolled up alongside Laura and her friend. The officer asked Laura what happened and she told her story about the fake tickets through tears.

“I was surprised he understood anything I was saying,” Laura admitted.

The officer headed to the box office, and when he returned, he had two tickets in his hand.

“I hope you enjoy the show,” said the officer, whose name Laura never caught.

“I wish I could have said thank you, but he left so quickly.”

While the officer may have slipped away, the girls slipped into the front row thanks to his good deed.