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Putting the spotlight on Alpha Psi Omega theater fraternity

by Temesha Derby, Staff Reporter

INDIANOLA, Iowa — Alpha Psi Omega, Simpson’s honorary theater fraternity which is comprised of 21 members, has increased its presence on campus through various events and performances.

APO secretary Brianna Stoever said her favorite event is Children’s Theater Camp. Next fall, children from the Indianola community can come and learn a performance with members of the Simpson College theater department and APO.

“I love being able to help teach the choreography to the kids,” Stoever said. “They come to us, shy at first, and then all of them end up speaking and joining in. It’s cute to watch them open up.”

She enjoys being able to incorporate one of her favorite things into something children can also learn to love and find a way to express themselves.

Audrey Kaus, another member, enjoys Theater Camp, but she especially enjoys the impact APO has on organizations, such as Simpson’s theater department and being able to help fund some of its activities.

Brandon Herring, president of APO, is excited about APO’s involvement these past few semesters and is even more excited to continue increasing its presence on campus.

Herring said APO is able to help fund theater students’ trips for auditions and help with graduate school auditions.

His passions for theater first sparked in middle school and he joined theater after a May Term course with professor Ann Woldt.

“It was a way to escape from life,” Herring said. “Playing a character, I could be anything and I was good at it.”

Stoever’s passion for theater began in eighth grade, and she loved the feeling of being able to play a role and the feeling of being on stage.

“’I like the feeling that acting can tap into humanity and show it to us on a deeper level. I fell in love with all aspects of Simpson’s theater,” Stoever said.

Kaus has been involved in theater since her sophomore year of high school.

“I have always loved musicals and entertaining others, but my interest sparked by auditioning for the drama club on a whim,” Kaus said.

One of Kaus’s personal achievements was playing the Simpson legend, Millie, who was in the Haunted Tour and Murder Mystery.

Herring’s greatest achievement was auditioning at the University/Resident Theatre Association and receiving 13 callbacks, which he said is a huge accomplishment since it hasn’t been done at Simpson in recent years.

Before Herring was the president, former president Gillian Randall had tried to get enough members for activities and more involvement. Herring wants to continue to get APO’s name out and make sure the organization stays fun with an equal balance of productivity.

APO has helped put on Haunted Tour, Murder Mystery, Children’s Theater Camp, and it’s helped with the Women’s Program and It’s on Us performances.

On March 24, APO and the theater department will be putting on a women’s appreciation event performance.

To be a member of APO, those interested must accumulate 40 points either by being part of the cast, backstage crew or attending events put on by APO or an overall showing of general interest, Herring said.

“We’re like a family,” Stoever said, “We love having new people grow and develop as members and as people, which brings people together.”

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