New Stark Theatre Students Association has numerous plans

Rebekah Mosora

A new student group combining theater and community service is up and running in its first year as an organization.

The Stark Theatre Students Association has a calendar full of events, performances and fundraisers planned for the current school year.

“We do a lot for the community with theater involved some how,” said Jason Mazan, president of the group. “We want to challenge other theater groups to beat us if you can.”

The first event of the year is a Phantom of the Opera movie night at 8 p.m. on Sept. 23 in the Main Hall Auditorium of the Stark Campus. The proceeds for this event will benefit the Salvation Army Katrina Relief Fund.

Other large fundraising events the group has planned include a Halloween Masquerade Dance and a Cobalt Club Christmas of ’47 formal. Halloween proceeds will benefit Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. Christmas proceeds will go toward Toys for Tots and theater scholarships.

Mazan said the community has been very supportive of the organization. Many businesses have donated products to be used at events. Free Starbucks coffee will be available at the movie night and the group will give away a 13-inch color television at the Halloween dance.

In addition to fundraising activities, the group plays an active role in the Stark Theatre.

“We serve as a kind of marketing group for theater productions,” Mazan said.

The group will be presenting an intimate readers’ theater of “Angels in America Perestroika” on Nov. 18. They will also be producing, acting and directing their own production of “Happy Anniversary, Angel! Love, Gino” in May.

In looking toward the future, members of the group are trying to organize a study tour to New York City. Mazan said they hope to get the study tour approved as a university class in order to improve curriculum and to gain valuable industry experience.

The group also hopes to organize summer theater productions at the Stark campus. Although other regional campuses offer summer theater, the Stark campus does not.

Theater involvement is a membership requirement. According to Mazan, anyone from any college or campus can join the organization as long as they are involved with the Stark Theatre.

Mazan said there were approximately 15 people at their first meeting. Meetings will take place every other Thursday. The next meeting will be at Sept. 29 in the Fine Arts building of the Stark campus.

“We would like to see 30 active members by the end of the year,” Mazan said. “We want the Halloween and Christmas events to be insanely successful and become annual staples. We also want the New York trip to happen and to help the Kent Stark Theatre to increase shows. We want student life to be active, present and seen at the Stark campus.”

Kristi Wert, the student activities coordinator at the Stark campus, said they have 20 active student organizations on campus.

“We were pleased to add Stark Theatre Students Association in the spring and look forward to their contributions,” Wert said. “They are a very hard working and dedicated student group.”

Contact regional campus reporter Rebekah Mosora at [email protected].