Spring Semester Second Half Crush

My high school had two semesters and four quarters so each half of the semester was clearly marked with a grade and a finals week that signified the end of sections. This lead to a more enjoyable break without extensive homework to do as new content was beginning after break ended! However at UPS and most colleges I believe, there are no two quarters within a semester, all the work and learning leads to a semester grade and midterms is a very real busy week but often vary in intensity and actual timing due to various types of assignments.

Beyond that with graduation and the end of the year imminent, there are so many events and extracurriculars that all students are participating in and attending. Of course spring is also the best season!! Senior and junior performances, thesis presentations, national subject conferences, and much much more!

Here’s a small snippet of the weekend plans that are coming up this last few weeks before graduation!*

April 1st: Largest home track meet, Puget Sound Decision Day, Phi Sigma (STEM) Research Symposium, (for me) Theta Formal, Senior Theatre Festival (STF) Performances

April 8th: Parents Weekend: Luau, STF, Opera Performance

April 15th: Sigma Chi Derby Days Philanthropy, RDG Performances, STF, Underground Sound Concert, Garden Level Concert; Easter; Pesach

April 22nd: Jacobsen Series Performance, STF, ASUPS Lectures w/ Janaya Khan

April 29th: Relay for Life, Tacoma Bike Swap,




*These are all events I’m aware of! Not including club activities, other greek life philanthropies and formals, etc.


Announcing Proscenium Journal for New Plays

I’ve been helping start a theatre journal called Proscenium that’s gearing up to publish plays and theatre-related articles for its inaugural issue this fall. The new journal aims to create the first free, online platform for sharing new plays. More information (and submission instructions) can be found at www.prosceniumjournal.com

The project’s been really rewarding to work on so far. The journal’s received submissions from authors all over the country, some with long production histories and others just starting, and it’s been fun reading and getting to be a part of the amazing work people are doing.


Proscenium sprang largely out of an absence of opportunities for new playwrights to publish their works outside of large publication organizations like Samuel French. And unlike these venues, Proscenium does not collect royalty cuts from authors – it obtains only one-time publication rights to the pieces it prints. The journal aims to create a new publication model for playwrights.

While there are a variety of literary magazines, journals, and other general publication outlets, there are currently very few similar publications for new theatre. As a result, there are likewise very few opportunities for undergraduates to publish dramatic work. And given the enormous volume of impressive dramatic writing happening at Puget Sound – through playwriting and creative writing classes, Student Initiative Theatre’s playwriting festivals and workshops, Ubiquitous They sketch comedy, and via the theatre department – we definitely encourage campus writers to submit to the journal.

Speaking of submissions, Proscenium is taking submissions up until its August 1st deadline for the fall issue. Plays can be sent to submissions@prosceniumjournal.com – please include a brief 100-word author bio and your piece as either a PDF or Word document. We’re looking in particular for short one-acts and ten minute plays to fill out this first edition.

Besides Proscenium, I’ve otherwise been busy editing XRDS, the national undergraduate magazine of the Association for Computing Machinery. I’m a feature editor for the magazine, which entails brainstorming authors and themes for the publication’s various issues, steering the general direction of the magazine, and lots of editing! I’ve been editing articles for our upcoming issue on natural language processing, an exciting fusion of language and computer science (at least for a dual biblio/technophile like myself). If you want to check out more about the magazine, go to: xrds.acm.org

Between the two magazines, I’ve definitely been forced to brush up on my editing skills! It’s also showing me, though, that there’s almost nothing more entertaining to someone who likes reading and writing then reading and revising new writing and helping bring writing to new audiences.

“The town crier spoke my lines…”

Greetings to readers, faculty, fellow loggers, time lords, parasitic life forms, etc. etc. I am coming to you from the chaotic madness that is midterm season—probably the least opportune time for me to take a break from schoolwork for something like a writing a blog post, I know. But I just can’t fight the urge to spew a little love on the Internet about this year’s Town Crier Speaks Festival. 

For those unfamiliar with Town Crier, TCSF is an annual theatre festival of six short original plays, and is entirely student-run: all the plays are written, directed, and acted in by UPS students—not to mention the student techies and producers, who I thought were beyond brilliant! Okay, maybe I’m a little biased because this year’s producers were my roommates Robyn Helwig and Shelby Isham, but seriously, the amount of dedication and skill that goes into producing a project like this is just incredible. Shelby and Robyn have been working on organizing and producing this year’s Town Crier for the past five months. (Which just blows me away, personally. Seriously, five months? I get distracted focusing on one project for more than a couple of hours. In a related story, there is definitely a midterm paper I should be working on right now.)

This year’s festival took place over this past weekend, and had a fantastic lineup of plays: GO. by Casey Oakes, A Toy for Juliet by Lindsey Salazar, Pendulum by Jordan Moeller, Encore by Andrew Lutfala, Human Resources by Daniel C. Smith, and A Case Worth Taking by Darrin Schultz. Whether it was slapstick-esque comedy, film noir parody, twisted time travel, or zombie apocalypse, the actors performed with such a genuine and intense energy that the audience was often either holding their breaths in anxiety or roaring with laughter. Even in some of the darker plays, I found myself laughing frequently at the perverse humor and at times shocking physical comedy; always keeping the audience on their toes and never knowing quite what to expect, in the best possible way.

If I had to pick, my favorite play of the evening would probably be Encore, which was written by Andrew Lutfala and directed by Ellie Freeman. Austen Harrison starred as a janitor in this one-man show, speaking to the audience directly as though he was an actual janitor cleaning up the theater in the middle of the play. As his monologue went on, the mild-mannered janitor divulged more and more about his lifelong desire to be a performer and his desperate need for an audience to affirm his existence, escalating in emotional intensity until he was screaming at the audience to speak to him. The tension in the audience was palpable: we’ve been taught all our lives that it’s not appropriate to speak during a performance in a theater, especially not to the actors, but Austen’s performance was so believable that it was hard not to feel a certain level of discomfort—Wait, is he actually asking us to speak? Should we say something, just to put this poor guy out of his agony? Even though it was later revealed that the janitor had been putting on an act, the intensity of that moment was definitely something that stayed with the audience through to the end of the show.

Congrats on a great show to everyone who took part in TCSF, from the brilliant writers and actors to the tireless directors, producers, and techies who dedicated their time to put together the show as a whole—I’d honestly love to go on rambling about how much I enjoyed the plays, but unfortunately I really should be getting back to that paper…

I’m looking forward to reading more posts from my fellow (b)loggers, and I hope everyone has a fantastic fall break!