APO presents, “Nevertheless, she persisted”


Photo: Emily Carey/The Simpsonian

by Jonathan Facio, Layout Editor

To close out Women’s History Month, Simpson College’s theatre fraternity, Alpha Psi Omega, held a show on March 26 consisting of nine performances that pertained to women’s experiences.

About 80 students attended the show, which took place in Pote Theater.

Members of of APO began with a slideshow of female icons through history, including author Mary Wollstonecraft, playwright Lorraine Hansberry, the saint Joan of Arc and many other prominent women.

APO members chanted the show’s theme, “Nevertheless, she persisted,” after the description of each of these women’s lives. As more women were shown on the screen, the chant “Nevertheless, she persisted” grew louder.

As the show continued, other Simpson students gave performances such as “Expressing Women’s Sexuality” by Riley Brennan, “Short Shorts” by Becca Schmidt and “Sting” by Michael Roetz.

Some of the performances were deeply personal and contained trigger warnings for sensitive subject matters. Roetz’s performance even moved Brennan to tearing up for a brief moment before giving her next performance.

Sophomore APO member Abbie Carpenter, who helped put the show together, said Schmidts’ and Roetz’s performances were especially emotional.

“One that I didn’t see through screening that I saw last night at rehearsal for the first time was Michael Roetz, and that just blew everyone away,” Carpenter said. “It was extremely powerful.”

Roetz had improvised the performance for the first time at the 2018 speech and debate nationals in Nashville.

Carpenter said she was relieved to see the show come together the way it did. “There were even things at the last minute that we weren’t sure was going to work out,” she said.

This is the third year APO has done a show like this, and Carpenter said they like taking risks in their productions. “We’re all about pushing the envelope on things,” she said.

Performers were at liberty to share as much as they were comfortable with in whatever way they needed to convey the message. “There wasn’t really any limit we set on what people could share,” Carpenter said.

Look forward to the next Theatre Simpson production, Festival of Short Plays, which takes place April 13–15 and will feature the theme, “Theatre of Politics and Protest.”