Performers have chance to shine in PA house’s Undergrounds

by Temesha Derby, Staff Reporter

INDIANOLA, Iowa — Possibly you have been to some of Simpson’s Undergrounds or have at least heard of them. Thanks to the Performing Arts house and community, these have been able to grow substantially over the past few years, which has been one of their biggest successes.

The PA house at Simpson houses five students and serves as a meeting place for the arts, resident Ryan Yurczyk said. The residents and performing arts community represent theater, music, speech and debate and a variety of other diverse backgrounds.

“My favorite part about living in the PA house,” Yurczyk said, “is for sure my housemates, and then simply because of all the events we hold, such as the Undergrounds and monologue nights.”

The Underground is a monthly event that used to bring about 10 people together. Now, it’s no surprise to see 50 or so people attend the events. Bryce Browning, president of On the House, said it’s cool that it brings people of so many different backgrounds and majors together to watch performances of all kinds.

“My favorite memories are of our housemates staying in on the weekends and just hanging by ourselves. It’s a lot of fun, and we have grown really close from it,” Pierce Carey said, “I am the only member (in the house) not in the performing arts at Simpson. We feel that having a diverse roommate group is beneficial to reaching out to others.”

The arts are part of what makes Simpson successful, Carey said, and he hopes that the campus enjoys the PA house as much as they do. The residents want to encourage people to come to the monthly underground.

During the first semester, the PA community also hosts a monologue night during the first semester where freshmen and upperclassmen can perform their audition pieces for each other before the big audition day, which is a great way for practicing and feedback before doing it in front of directors, Browning said.

At the Underground, PA students also collect free will donations for Run DSM. Their mission is to “support and empower students on their journey to becoming community-based activists, providing them a platform to be heard,” Browning said. “It is something that all of us at the house are really passionate about, and it is the drive for our undergrounds.”

“I think that we are finally showing how important and enjoyable theater really is on campus, and really sparking that interest through more than just the performing arts majors,” Yurczyk said.

“I think one of our biggest successes as a house this year has been creating a more open and diverse environment for our undergrounds. We have people from all over the campus,” Kathryn Rupp said.

“The PA house is a really great resource for students. If theater students are struggling to find a monologue for auditions, someone in the house can help with that. I like when people utilize the house for what it’s there for. We are a safe, fun environment for people to celebrate the arts,” Yurczyk said.

One of Browning and Yurczyk’s favorite memories was when all five of them dressed up as members as “The Voice” judges for Halloween Underground. “It was so much fun and it really got the audience engaged,” Yurczyk said.

The next Underground will be at 9 p.m. on March 24.