UEA’s Drama Society was recently voted “Society of the Year” for 2013 at the Union Awards – an accolade which is undoubtedly well-deserved.
“We are delighted” said Gwen Hanauer, DramaSoc’s Publicity Officer, “as any society would be.” She added, “While we are grateful and truly humbled by the award, our members certainly deserve it.” This year, there have been more members than ever before in DramaSoc, which provides “theatrical opportunities to the widest range of people, while never making a sacrifice to quality.”
But while DramaSoc aims to attract “the widest range of people,” 2013 has been marked by productions that were equally eclectic; it has produced everything from William Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew to the darkly humorous Reefer Madness, based on a 1936 anti-marijuana film of the same name. Reefer Madness was described by Rachael Lum in Concrete as, “a brilliant production…a Broadway experience at our very own university”. Indeed, the Drama Society’s productions this year have been consistently applauded by Concrete, including the notoriously challenging play 13 by Mike Bartlett, staged in February.
In addition to its six major productions during 2012-13 – which have included Punk Rock, Arthur Miller’s The Crucible, and the forthcoming Rope – the DramaSoc has also re-introduced Spotlight this year. Spotlight, held on 4th March, brought together around 50 students who wrote, acted in, and directed eight short plays in UEA’s LCR. It was, according to Ms. Hanauer, “a collective endeavour the whole society was proud of”. It also proved, of course, that DramaSoc is not only for actors, but for anybody interested in the production of plays, from beginning to end, on-stage and backstage.
For 2013-14, Chrissy McMahonm, the current Treasurer of DramaSoc, will take over as President of the Society. It is planned that Spotlight will not only be repeated but expanded, in addition to the traditional program of six plays throughout the year. Ms. McMahon promises that, “We will be able to offer our members the chance to be part of some of the biggest celebrations the University has seen” for its 50th Anniversary. However, it remains to be seen whether DramaSoc can replicate the achievements that have seen it named 2013’s “Society of the Year”.
From Wednesday 15 Friday 17 May, DramaSoc will present Rope by Patrick Hamilton. It will be their final major performance of this academic year – a year in which they have excelled.