Cothurnus provides students who are interested in theater with many opportunities for getting involved and indulging in performing arts on and off campus. A hugely important aspect of the organization is its subcommittee and creative outlet Veg S.O.U.P., which sponsors entirely student-run theatrical productions. Senior Meg Sexton is the chair of the organization, acting as a liaison between Cothurnus and Veg S.O.U.P.
The petition process is what begins this dynamic, once a particular play or musical is passed by the committee and scheduled.
“There’s a lot of stuff that we look for in a petition,” Sexton said. “Directorial ability is ideal, because Veg S.O.U.P. is something you turn to once you’ve had experience and acquired a set of skills for it.”
Student directors are required to take and pass Directing I to petition for their own production. Members of the committee are most likely to approve plays petitioned by dedicated directors with a tight and organized production team.
On top of these factors, budgetary restraints are considered and regulated, with “ … $700 or so for a play and about $1,000 for a musical, which covers everything from lights and sound to publicity and royalty payments,” Sexton said.
Veg S.O.U.P. maintains a controlled collaboration between the committee and the production; using production meetings to work out kinks, observe rehearsals and keep up a general flow of communication with Veg S.O.U.P.’s liaison.
Aside from the technical and administrative consistency of its stages of production, Veg S.O.U.P. is effective because it places its emphasis on student creativity and autonomy from faculty.
Since the group’s primary space for performance is currently the Robert Sinclair Black Box Theatre, it lends itself to expansive ideas and increased intimacy with both the audience and the members of a production. Veg S.O.U.P. is an outlet for experimentation.
“Of course we have to be flexible when it comes to using the department’s equipment and allotting time to performance spaces,” Sexton said. “But concept-wise, artistically, we have complete freedom. Veg S.O.U.P. is a good place for testing things out, because we’re still in the learning stages of our careers.”