Looking Back On Semester One

retrospective

President Patrick Morrow started SUDS’ 125th year off by stating that SUDS is a safe place to fail. Perhaps he was being cautious but what he failed to mention was that SUDS can be a wonderful place to succeed as well and this semester has proved this.

As everyone knows by now the first semester of 2014 saw the society “temporarily” relocated to Studio B which meant that not only did production teams have the usual hurdles of putting on a show with $500 but that they essentially had to create their own theatre in the middle of an old cavernous backstage area. Studio B exemplified creating something out of nothing as students worked through every permutation of the space, with no lazy ‘default’ to fall back on. We saw the gigantic white walls of Ghosts, the raised platform of Attempts On Her Life placing audiences face to face with each other and Six Characters In Search of an Author’s simple solution to just setting the play literally in Studio B, obtrusive mirror and all.

In the democratic and disparate society the term diversity doesn’t mean much but its worth remembering how wildly we flung the society and its audience through time and genre between slots. As in 2013 we kicked off the year with another sterling rendition of a Shakespeare play, this year Much Ado About Nothing. From there we saw a contemporary Australian horror-satire, two contemporary English classics in the making, two student adaptations of canonical works, one giant franken-play compilation piece and most excitedly an original student-written musical. Not only was Ian Ferrington’s entirely original The Detective’s Handbook completely new and well-received it was also packed out every night and turning people away at the door. Who said risk didn’t pay off?

For those who want to reminisce or for those who missed the many great moments during our time in Studio B, head over to the SUDS 2014 Archive to look at photos and read reviews of the past eight shows. For those with a slightly bigger sense of perspective make sure you stop by the exhibition space just to the left of the foyer in Fisher Library, displaying some of the treasures, both impressive and cringe-worthy, SUDS has amassed over the last 125 years.

In the mean time a lot of us are already set on the future with Three Sisters, The Bitterness of Pomegranates and a double bill of Black Comedy and The Real Inspector Hound gearing up for their debut in the new and improved Cellar Theatre (barring some unforeseen delay… which never happens here). And of course, most excitingly our 2014 Major Production of Hamlet is well under way for its run in August at the Seymour Centre’s Reginald Theatre.

To anyone who has been in a show, thank you. To anyone who has produced, designed, teched or directed a show, thank you. To anyone who has been to a general meeting, thank you. To anyone who has been in the audience of a SUDS show, thank you. To anyone who is thinking of joining us next semester… thanks in advance.