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The Carroll News

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A new act in Little Marinello: Theatre Club returns!

Natalie Pugh-Jarosz
Michael Walsh explains how the Theatre Club at JCU has started again.

Just as “The Phantom of the Opera” refuses to die, and “Shen Yuen” yearly returns to Cleveland, the Theatre Club at JCU is a stubborn niche that just won’t quit – with plenty of people lining up to join. 

Last spring, Alissa Van Dress ‘25 and Maddie Jarosz ‘25 decided that it’s been too long since a real acting club took the stage in the Marinello Little Theatre, located just above the Lombardo Student Center. They reached out to the then Little Theatre Society, which had been inactive for a year. When they realized they could only perform if they started something of their own, that’s exactly what they did. 

Fast forward to October 2023, when the Theatre Club at JCU had its first meeting. Jarosz, the vice president of the organization, had this to say about their first meeting:

“With COVID, both the professors and students involved in the old Little Theatre Society left the university, and since Improv only does a specific style of performance, there was a niche to fill. 20 plus members later and more signing up each month, we’re happy to give people this opportunity on campus.” 

When asked why she believes it’s important to have a theatre organization, Jarosz stated that it was about more than just providing a club for her fellow students. 

“Theatre is a great outlet for all involved such as crew, actors and producers” and that “people love being on stage; I do, Alissa does, and we all want to express ourselves as much as we can.” 

However, this effort could not be done alone. As Jarosz and Van Dress stated at one of their latest shows: “We have so many people to thank in the English Department.” 

From their perspective, Van Dress and Jarosz said that, by putting themselves out into the university’s public spaces, they were able to gain the attention of many professors. In particular, Dr. Phil Metres and Dr. Jean Ferrik of the English Department and the Peace, Justice and Human Rights Department had a big hand in mentoring this new group, along with attending many of their events. 

Some of these most recent events include a cabaret show and EMS training, in which the club executives acted as faux casualties for medical training purposes. So, whether serious or playful, the Theatre Club has been putting on quite a show.

In the future, the club also plans on watching performances downtown and will have a table available for sign-ups at the spring involvement fair on Feb. 7 from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

When asked to sum up what they have gained through the club, Jarosz asked this article be summed up with this quote: 

“‘Good things come to those who wait, keep pushing’ and that everyone has a purpose in theatre.”

So, as the Theatre Club begins practicing for their next shows, it would be safe to say that theatre is well and truly back on campus and is in the good hands of students and staff who will ensure it stays. 

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About the Contributor
Michael Walsh
Michael Walsh, Community Editor
Michael Walsh, the Community Editor, is originally from Bethel Park, Pennsylvania. He is a Junior double majoring in political science and History. Michael has written for The Carroll News since the Fall of 2023 and has previously been involved as the Global South Beat Reporter. He has received 1 Best of SNO award for his collaboration article "The Israel-Hamas War: what can college students do to help Palestinians?" With Tate Farinacci. Michael Works as well as editing for the Podcast "Kremlin Files" discussing Russian spies and secrets, and the war in Ukraine. In addition to their involvement with The Carroll News, Michael is involved with the speech and debate team, the Gator Rugby Club, and is President of the College Independents at John Carroll. When not writing, Michael manages media projects for the Wilson Center for International Scholars as an intern. Michael also enjoys concerts and travel and loves sharing these experiences with fellow students. In the future, Michael hopes to become a political researcher or to serve in the State Department, as he enjoys interacting with the wider world as much as he can. To contact Michael, email them at [email protected].

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