APO member creates original piece: “Break a Leg!”


Courtesy of DeJuan James

Senior elementary education major DeJuan James is a member of Alpha Psi Omega, the university’s theatre honors society. James’ original play “Break a Leg!” will debut on Oct. 22 in the Student Union Theatre.

DeJuan James, a senior elementary education major, is among those on campus who have expressed their own creativity by creating an original play, titled “Break a Leg!”

James is an active member in the theatre honors society, Alpha Psi Omega.

“‘Break a Leg!’ is an original piece that I’ve been working on since quarantine started back in March,” shared James. “I started it simply as a way to remind myself of how fun theatre is, and I wanted to have some way to share that love with others. I love shows that poke fun at the classics, so I felt this was a great way to approach it.”

The showcase will take place from Oct. 22-24 in person at the Student Union Theatre.

Quinton Williams, an alumnus with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication, will be directing “Break a Leg!” alongside Taylor Meng, an alumnus of English education.

“We actually just finished casting the show last night, which was both extremely fun but extremely difficult to do,” said Williams.

Meng explained what the audition process entailed on Sept. 22.

“The audition process consisted of some cold readings from the script,” said Meng. “We offered both in-person and virtual options for auditions, and people came in one at a time and read various parts for us.”

Although Williams is well-accustomed with the theatre world, it is his first time directing, which is new territory for the former actor.

“I think what I’m looking forward to the most is starting the rehearsal process with the other actors and Taylor,” shared Williams. “This is my first time directing a show, so I’m very much looking forward to that process. I’m glad that I have Taylor by my side on this, since she’s had more experience in directing.”

Due to COVID-19 and university policies, the theatre will be taking extra precautions to ensure a safe environment.

“Last year, APO had a different format for the show,” explained Williams. “Instead of one massive show like ‘Break a Leg!,’ it was smaller 15-minute plays that members of APO had sent in, DeJuan and I included. I think the main difference will be making sure both the audience and cast are properly socially distant and safe. I think that will add a unique challenge in blocking and rehearsing the show.”

Meng shared what she is looking forward to most while directing the play.

“My favorite part of doing this is getting to work with so many different people who are just as passionate about theatre as I am,” shared Meng. “This production is entirely student produced, so it is incredible that we are able to do this even during the midst of COVID-19. The arts are alive and well, even during these crazy times.”

Williams also shared his sentiments in anticipation of the show.

“All in all, I’m very excited to bring back a little theatre into the world, when nearly all of it had been shut down earlier this year,” enthused Williams. “The show is incredibly funny. I think seeing it will be a great way for students, and people in general, to just have some fun for a while, especially with how this year has been going.”

Williams encouraged everyone to see the show when the theatre doors open.

“This is also a wonderful play to see if you yourself are a fan of classic and well-known plays,” shared Williams. “The show is kind of a parody of certain famous plays. I really think the audience will enjoy themselves immensely.”