A crowd of about 80 students and faculty attended the “Nightmare on JP 235” event performed by CommWorks students on Wednesday, Oct. 29.
“We hope to build a sense of community with this performance,” said Dr. Deanna Shoemaker, Advisor of CommWorks and communications professor. “This is a tight knit group that believes in performance as a way of expression.”
This was the first performance by CommWorks this semester. Shoemaker and the performers were pleased with the turnout.
“This was the largest turnout we have had in a while, there was standing room only,” said Shoemaker. “Next time we have a performance we will maybe need a bigger space,” she continued.
“I think the performance was a huge success,” said Britney Wade, President of CommWorks and senior communications major. “The entire club had worked really hard to put together an organized and comedic show while still making the content relatable to the audience.”
Wesley Brooks, a senior English major and secretary of CommWorks, said how he was also pleased with the turnout and how the performance allowed everyone to have fun. “It was great to see everyone coming out to support CommWorks,” he said. “Our performance encouraged performers as well as the audience to have fun and brought everyone together.”
According to the CommWorks official Facebook page, “The slogan of the organization is “Students committed to performance.” To this end, CommWorks members are dedicated to performance as a powerful form of embodied communication that can transform, educate, entertain, and empower both performers and audiences.”
The main goal of the performance was to entertain the audience with a comedic show inspired by Halloween. “We wanted to produce a Halloween show that the audience would love and to poke fun at modern day horror movie stereotypes,” said Wade.
Performers also hoped to gain more CommWorks members. “We wanted to provide entertainment for people while also getting more students to join CommWorks,” explained Asia Byrd, a sophomore communications major and Vice President of CommWorks.
“I want CommWorks to expand and to gain credibility not only amongst the communication department but throughout the entire campus,” Wade said. “I want students and faculty to know that they can count on CommWorks to deliver a stellar performance.”
Wade expressed her hope to collaborate with other clubs and organizations in the future. “I also see CommWorks doing future collaborations with Boom Roasted, Blue Hawk Records, and Lambda Theta Alpha, possibly in the upcoming spring,” she said.
The members of the club create the performances together. “We come up with skits as a collective group,” said Byrd. “We all talk about our ideas and have the freedom to throw our thoughts out there. All members have a say in the content of the performances.”
Byrd explained that performing is an outlet for her. “I was shy at a young age but performance has allowed me to become a whole new person,” she said.
“It is through performance with CommWorks that I have found myself. I also love working with these people,” Byrd continued.
“CommWorks is for people with a love and appreciation for performance,” said Brooks. “It also forces people to come out of their comfort zone and express themselves.”
The stage was covered with Halloween decorations. The performance included four scenes and the audience was laughing throughout the performance. It was about 45 minutes in total.
The performance ended with all performers dancing on the stage to Halloween themed music such as “Superstition” by Stevie Wonder and “Thriller” by Michael Jackson. Performers urged members of the audience to join them while they danced and even pulled audience members up to the stage.