Thespians were treated with free hot dogs courtesy of the Eastern Michigan University Department of Communication, Media and Theatre Arts when it held its annual “Welcome Back Picnic” on Thursday, Sept. 5, outside of the Quirk Theatre Arts Building.
Pam Cardell, the assistant managing director of theatre, said the event is intended to bring EMU’s acting community together.
“Every year, we do a welcome back picnic to allow staff and fellow students to get to know each other and ask questions about advising or auditions in a relaxed setting,” she said.
She said the annual event is always the first Thursday of the fall semester, and it would have taken place behind the Quirk building, but the ongoing construction of Pray-Harrold altered plans.
EMU freshman Emily Olson said she learned of the event while walking around campus.
“I’ve seen the flyers all over and wrote it down,” Olson said. “I’m going to an audition and figured I’d grab some free food on the way.”
She wants to earn a role in “Fiddler on the Roof,” and her one-word description of the hot dogs was “perfect.”
Samantha Morr, an EMU freshman and theatre major, said she came to the picnic to meet new people and receive information about the theatre department. She discovered the event through an email.
“I’m kind of into acting, so this is right up my alley,” Morr said. “I’d really try out for anything, I’m not too picky.”
Rory Franchy, an EMU freshman who is undecided about her major, said she enjoyed hanging out at the picnic and was introduced to some new friends.
“I met some fellow students with similar interests, and I plan on trying out for some roles this school year,” Franchy said. “I’m glad I came.”
She said her dream role would be to play Huey Calhoun from the musical “Memphis,” even though the character is intended for a male actor.
EMU freshman Haley Mitchell is undecided about her major, but she said she attended the picnic to find out more about the theatre program.
“I signed up at the booth at Fajita Fest and thought it would be a good time,” Mitchell said. “I don’t know anyone here, but I want to be part of the crew, because I don’t really act.”
Many commented on the perfect picnic weather, mid-70s and sunny. A steady crowd of 70-100 were present throughout the event.
EMU senior Jasmine Poston is majoring in psychology and works for EMU dining services. She worked during the picnic and said she expected a big turnout.
“We made 300 hotdogs, and we’ll probably go through them all,” she said.
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