This past weekend William Paterson’s theater club, Pioneer Players, put on their 17th annual Students and the Arts. Students and the Arts is a completely student run variety show. The acts consisted of sketches that were written, acted and directed by students, songs and musical acts performed by students, and even some stand-up comedy. Even the sound and lighting is completely run by the club’s executive board.
This year’s show had a number of comedy sketches, a few singing acts, a standup comedian, a comic yo-yo performance, and even a taco and banana playing saxophone. As a member of the club, this was my third and final year performing in and writing for the show. It was also my final show at all for Pioneer players. I have been a part of Pioneer Players since November of my freshman year. As a member, I participated in weekly improv games, two Murder Mystery plays and three Students and the Arts performances. I have gone to almost every meeting and made some incredible friends
This year, I got to showcase a piece from my big honors project with other members of a club that has been a huge part of my four years at William Paterson. That was the best part for me. I worked for a year on my project and getting to show it off to, and with, the family I had made here was incredible.
As a graduating senior this last show had a lot of meaning to me. Not only was it the last time I was performing at William Paterson, but it was the last time I would get to put together a show with my college family. I started going to Pioneer Players my freshman year when a few friends literally dragged me to a meeting. Despite the fight I put up, I never missed a meeting afterward without good reason. Since that first day I have been fully invested in the club and have even been elected for executive board positions. Although I never actually served on the e-board, I do think I made some sort of impact on the club in my four years.
This year’s show was absolutely bittersweet for me. It may have been my last one, but it was also another amazing show with amazing people. It also gave me a glimpse at the club I was leaving behind and I have to say I’m not worried. I think we are leaving the club in very capable hands and I look forward to dropping by in the future and seeing what they have done and who else they have made at home in University Commons 168, or whatever room they end up in.The final performance of the show was this year’s president, and fellow senior, singing the song, “Beautiful Ride.” I had a hard time not getting emotional as he sang. It truly has been a beautiful ride. My four years of college have not always been easy, and even though some of the drama I got caught up in did revolve around the club itself, it was usually the club that pulled me back up onto my feet when things got tough. It was also always a great way to relieve some stress and break up the tension of a busy school and work week. I am going to miss laughing with friends twice a week and I really am going to miss each and every player.