Students in a theatre class will be performing an original play next week centered around their reactions and opinions about the Sandusky scandal.
The play, directed by Penn State theatre professor Charles Dumas and students in his Theatre in Diverse Cultures workshop class, was written “to voice the student opinion on the sex abuse scandal that rocked Happy Valley” last November, according to a press release.
“The student voice, a voice that has seemingly been left behind, will come to light in this emotional, riveting and enlightening display of storytelling and witness testimony,” the release stated.
Alex Gilliland, a student in the class and director of Public Relations for the production, said that the idea to write an entire play was presented after some students in the class read the first half of the play at Webster’s Cafe earlier in the semester.
“We personally felt like we didn’t want to talk about [the scandal]anymore, but at the same time the point of our class is designed to put fresh ideas out there and see if it alters people’s point of view,” Gilliland said.
The first half of the play starts around the time of former head football coach Joe Paterno’s firing, which led to student riots in Beaver Canyon last November. Details about the scandal such as word-for-word testimony by victims and other officials will also be included.
Gilliland, who will play Victim One, Joe Paterno, and a student in the play (somehow?) said that one segment of the student body was driven to the streets on the night of the riots because of their emotions. The negative media attention focused in on that a lot, he said, but students’ emotions have been constantly changing ever since.
“And we want to show that aspect,” he said.
The second half of the play is predominantly student reactions and opinions about the scandal, most of which come from students in the class and what they experienced with their friends at Penn State.
We Are? “A Student Perspective of the Sandusky Scandal” will be performed on Thursday, December 13 at Pavilion Theatre, which is located on the corner of Shortlidge and Curtin roads near North Halls. It is free to the public and begins at 4:30 p.m.