Unnecessary Farce Brings Necessary Laughter to UWGB

They say time spent laughing is time well spent. Well, then UWGB’s production of Unnecessary Farce by Paul Slade Smith is a far cry from a waste of time. This hilarious show will have you bursting out in raucous laughter probably unsuitable for a public venue, but when the whole house is with you, nobody cares. That is the gift of UWGB’s Unnecessary Farce: two hours where nothing matters but tickling your funny bone. And it delivers.

The seven student cast, directed by Laura Riddle, does not have an easy time of it in Farce. Backstage at intermission is a sight to see, with cast members fighting for breath and more than just a little sweat on their costumes, but onstage, it looks effortless and natural. Well, maybe not effortless, but very believable. With eight doors (which are the only set pieces that work harder than the actors), more than a few quick costume changes, guns, handcuffs, dialects both accurate and absurd, and a large plate of donuts, comedic timing is earned in this show and the cast will not disappoint.

Andrew Delaurelle and Marta Knodle play less than competent cops using an attractive Accountant (played by Katie Sawyer) as bait to catch the Mayor (played delightfully by Ross Christian) in an embezzling scheme. Add his wandering wife (played by Noel Fricke), a security agent (Matthew Harris in a comedic bullseye) and Todd (played by Derek Knabenbaur with a flawless dialect and a fearless disposition) as a Scottish…well, I won’t give away too much here. The more surprises in Unnecessary Farce, the better.

This production has earned a rave review from the Green Bay Press Gazette, who accurately called it “sexy, fast, and ridiculous”. Read the review at http://www.greenbaypressgazette.com/article/20111114/GPG04/111140472/UWGB-Theatre-s-Unnecessary-Farce-big-hoot

Unnecessary Farce runs this weekend, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday at 7:30 pm in UWGB’s University Theatre. Buy tickets by visiting the UTIC in the University Union, calling them at (920)465-2400, or online at http://www.uwgb.edu/theatre/season/index.html

To watch a preview of Unnecessary Farce with insight from the director and cast members, click here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UUxZpbVrhvk

[title of show] is a First for UWGB

Natalie Vanden Heuvel, Mike Roderique, Ross Christian, and Chelsea Crevcoure

This weekend marks the long awaited run [title of show]. This production marks the opening of the UWGB 2011-2012 Theatre season, being the first of two studio (student-directed) projects selected for this year, and the only fully mounted student-directed production. [title of show] is also the first student-directed musical in UWGB’s history. A large and daunting undertaking for directors Kyle R. Pingel and Molly LeCaptain.

The road to [title of show], or [tos] to its loyal fanbase, started with Pingel and LeCaptain, two theatre majors and good friends, developing individual directing projects. LeCaptain, a longtime [tos] fan and musical theatre major had the show in mind from the start. Having a four person cast and minimal set, she knew it was an ideal candidate for a studio production. When the two decided to join forces, a new directing team was born, both Pingel and LeCaptain being credited as co-directors, with LeCaptain focusing on musical direction.

The show itself presents an overtly simple (or painfully complicated) premise: the show centers around two guys writing a musical, about two guys writing a musical, about two guys writing a musical. No plot lines to be crossed there. While the plot may get complicated, the cast consists of only two guys, two girls, and an accompanist, and the set is made up of four mismatched and lonely chairs. Add in a cornucopia of theatre and pop culture references (and a slew of administrative confusion as to what the show is actually called), and you have a hilarious, nostalgic yet utterly contemporary musical.

[title of show] runs this weekend only, with shows Thursday, Friday, and Saturday (22-24) at 7:30 in the Jean Weidner Theatre, all 100% free of admission. Pingel, LeCaptain, along with their brave and talented cast consisting of Mike Roderique, Ross Christian, Chelsea Crevcoure, Natalie Vanden Heuvel, and Richard S. Perry, hope you come and enjoy the music, the laughter, and the fun of [title of show].

Back to School Time

Can you feel it? The excitement is building. In one week, the entire freshmen class will be coming to campus to move in to housing and attend FOCUS Orientation. This is my favorite time of year. People are checking out where their classrooms are, getting their books and materials for class, meeting new people and running into old friends. Everything is building to the first day of class.

The first day of class is full of possibilities…just like the students entering college for the first time. How much you put into a class, reading, homework, projects etc…is directly related to how much you get out of it. The experience is richer when you put more energy into it. The same is true of college.

Attending classes and getting good grades is only part of the experience, to fully experience college, you need to get involved, meet new people, and try things you’ve never tried. Internships, research opportunities, jobs; they don’t just fall in your lap, you need to seek them out. Develop relationships with your faculty and staff. You never know when you might need that connection.

Get involved in clubs and organizations that matter to you. Give your energy to making the world a better place in whatever way works for you! Make the most of your college experience. Trust me when I say, it goes quickly. Savor each moment and make it count.

A day in the life of a UWGB student- written by Gina Durkee

It’s a gorgeous day, the sun is shining, and billowy white clouds are floating in the sky. Walking on my way to Mary Ann Cofrin Hall, I see two squirrels running to the nearest tree. Speaking of trees, there are certainly a lot of them. Taking a walk through campus almost feels like a day at the park; sprawling green grasses can be seen everywhere, and wildlife dashes before your eyes. The air smells like summer; crisp, fresh and inviting. However, I doubt anyone will find a Shoe Tree in any local park! The Shoe Tree is definitely unique to the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay.

               Heading through the tunnel in Mary Ann Cofrin Hall, I see summer classes in session in many of the classrooms. Fellow students say hello as I walk past them on my way to the Cofrin Library. I smell the delicious aroma of Panini’s being made to order in the Garden Café. After taking a short elevator ride, I am on the 8th floor of the Cofrin Library. The view is AMAZING! I can see the gorgeous bay, AND Lambeau Field. I can see the Weidner Center, where people enjoy performances like River Dance and The Goo Goo Dolls. I can also see the Instructional Services building, which happens to be the only completely underground building on campus.

               Now I decide I want to get a little workout in, so I head to the Kress Center. The friendly front desk attendants swipe my card and I’m ready to go! I walk into the fitness center. I could utilize the strength training equipment on the ground floor, or I could raise my heart rate upstairs on the cardio deck. Or, if I’m feeling adventurous, I could climb the climbing tower. After much thought, I think what I’d really like to do is go for a swim in the 96 foot long pool.

               It’s been a busy day, so I think it’s time to head back to my residence hall apartment. I can’t wait to see my three roommates. We’re going to make dinner together in our full-sized kitchen, then watch a movie in the living room, popcorn mandatory. After that, my roommates and I are helping each other decorate our individual bedrooms; when it comes to decorating, four heads really can be better than one!

                The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay has a ton of fun things to keep me busy. Between the reading at the library, seeing shows at the Weidner Center, working on my fitness at the Kress Center, taking fun classes, and a variety of other activities, I have to try really hard to be bored!

And over here we have….your future. by Amy Manske

I have been giving tours at UWGB for almost 3 years. It’s a similar routine; we see the remarkable view of campus from the eighth floor of the library, wander the Kress Events Center, and make a stop in a residence hall to show off our famous personal bathrooms. Why would I love giving a tour of a campus I see every day? The easy answer is because every person I meet on a tour makes me feel even better about choosing UWGB.

I have met students from all over looking to compare colleges. I have given tours to students as young as eighth grade. Their questions are usually “what kind of food do you eat here?” and “what is your favorite color?”, but they are still excited to be on a college campus and learn about what we do here.

The best thing about giving tours is the fresh perspective everyone brings based on what they have done and what they plan to do.

I had the privilege of meeting a high school senior from Hawaii. Her sole reason in checking out UWGB was because it was the hometown of the Green Bay Packers. How cool is that?
Every person I meet on a tour makes me more excited to be a UWGB student. Not only do I get to tell them what is great about our campus but I get to tell them all about the great memories I have here. It is the greatest feeling in the world when you get done with a tour and the student says they love the campus and is interested in attending. You have introduced someone into the UWGB college perspective and lifestyle. Some people don’t fit UWGB and that is ok, we don’t hate you. Your college should be right for you no matter where it might be and what better way can you find this out but with a visit!
If you are in the process of looking at colleges or will be soon, I highly suggest a tour. A tour will give you the best perspective as to what the atmosphere is like here and how you would fit in. Tours run twice a day, Monday through Friday at 10:00 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. We also have days during the school year labeled as Campus Preview Days. These days are big touring days where hundreds of people come to take a tour of the campus and get information on tuition, dining, housing and more. www.uwgb.edu/admissions/visit

What better way to find out about a school than to visit it and look around? Walk where the students walk, sit where the students sit and talk to a real student. Hope to see you soon!

What is YOUR favorite spot on campus?

What makes a place memorable? The location? Function? Ambiance? A potential student considers all of these when choosing a school, and UWGB has plenty of places to offer for consideration. I asked several UWGB students about their favorite place on campus and I got a wide variety of answers, all of which helped display the many assorted appeals of our campus.

The favorite places of students vary widely from the academic, to the social, and everything in between. One Sophomore called MAC Hall’s Winter Garden her favorite spot, particularly when the fountain is on in the warmer months calling it “relaxing” and “a great spot to study of kill time in between classes”. Another academic location, the Cofrin Library, is an often claimed favorite spot, but not for its obvious academic purposes. Many students enjoy the view from the top floor, where you can see most of Green Bay as well as the entire campus.

While athletics may not be the main focus of the GB campus, they are a big part of many students’ lives, including, but not limited to Division 1 student athletes. The Kress Events Center was another very common answer to the choice location question. One self-proclaimed non-athlete mentioned the free fitness classes particularly, saying that they “actually make me feel coordinated.” But on campus athletics are certainly not limited the Kress, as many students go running on the arboretum trails that surround the campus.

As to be expected, some of the most possible answers to my question were social sites. The most common answer was, not surprisingly, the Common Grounds Coffee House. Cited reasons included the relaxing atmosphere, the fireplace, the coffee itself, and the concert series. Other social spots favorited by GB students are the Phoenix Club and the Quad outside between MAC Hall, the University Union, and the Cofrin Library.

UWGB offers many different visitation options for prospective students, so come visit us here in GB and find your favorite spot.

For visitation information go to www.uwgb.edu/admissions/visit.

UWGB in One Word

When you hear University of Wisconsin – Green Bay, what word comes to mind? On tours and in presentations, we hear clever phrases of distinction like the four T’s (trees, tunnels, toilets, and teachers) and complicated terms of academia like interdisciplinary. While those words all have merit and certainly contribute to the whole of GB, when we’re not trying to sell ourselves, what words accurately describe what it means to actually live and thrive here? It’s a challenge to sum up such a large part of your life in a single word, but that is the challenge I posed to several UWGB students this week.

A welcome term to all who work to improve the image of our university, Jonathan Eckelberg said “innovative” was his word of choice. He said “we are always looking for ways to better our campus….always willing to try new things in order to better the university. The students’ voices often have a great impact on decisions made by the university. I feel like I am a truly valued member of this community.”

Jonathan highlighted not only the advances being made in our community, but the community itself, and the importance of the student voice being heard. This feeling of community is certainly felt by more than just Jonathan, as several students’ word was “community” itself. These students defined community as knowing and working with a wide variety of people, access to great resources, and “learning just as much from your surroundings as you do in the classroom, if not more”, as stated by Junior Communications Katie Phillips.

“Opportunity” was also a word that came up quite a bit this week, a word every student likes to hear when talking about their education. Students mentioned several different types of opportunities, including jobs, internships, networking, the arts, athletics, and, of course, social. Junior History major and student athlete Kelly Mischler also states that “most professors will know your name…vs. being just a number”, a privilege lost to most public university students.

One of my favorite responses to this challenge was made by Senior Katelyn Santy, whose word of choice was “character”. “Even though it’s a young campus”, she continued, “it’s amazing to see how people in this community [there’s that word again] saw the need for a university here. They built it up brick by brick to serve students…” One thing I personally have heard time and time again, and discovered to be true myself, is that no matter how long you’ve been at GB, you continue to discover new facets of this campus you didn’t even know existed, each contributing to the unique flavor and character of this campus.

Other great words I heard this week include reliable, memories, comfortable, and spoiled, but the word that stuck with me most, and the one that is hardest to demonstrate, is home. A word that is deceptively simple, impossible to simulate, and vitally important to any campus. University of Wisconsin – Green Bay is home.

The legend of the shoe tree

When will you embark on the tradition, and what will your parting message be?

Each year seniors commemorate their graduation by knotting the laces of a worn pair of sneakers and lofting them high into the branches of a campus landmark, the Shoe Tree. The origins of this custom remain a mystery. No one knows who started it but everyone has a tale to tell about it.

One story suggests it all began in 1989. Supposedly, a student walking back from playing intramural basketball threw another student’s shoes in a tree, beginning the tradition. Another story has it that an angry student threw his roommate’s shoes in the tree after an argument. Stories are changed and embellished each year but the tradition remains constant; graduating seniors toss their “soles” high into the oak- often with parting messages on them.
“Keep swinging,” wrote Mike Vuola, history major, class of ’02.
“I made it!” wrote Nicki Enz, class of 2001.

One frightful night the Shoe Tree fell, and everyone felt its thump. A summer thunderstorm claimed the campus landmark on July, 30, 2002 with winds gusting nearly 50 mph. The beloved and mighty oak toppled in the storm but students refused to let the longstanding tradition die.
Katie Johnson, former Director of the Ecumenical Center, called the Shoe Tree an important symbol. “The Shoe Tree represents success. You get to throw your shoes up in its branches and leave a part of your soul at UWGB as you embark on the next part of your life.”

On October 11, 2002 a rededication ceremony occurred with the naming of the new Shoe Tree. It is now located in-between the Ecumenical Center and the Kress Events Center. The new location is convenient for the “Bless My Sole” event hosted each year by the Ecumenical center. The event allows alumni, campus guests, and students to participate in what has now become a rite of passage.
When will you embark on the tradition, and what will your parting message be?

-Mary Simonsen

How did we become the Phoenix?

From “Bay Badger” to “Fighting Phoenix”

1970 – As UW-Green Bay prepared to graduate its first class of seniors and conclude its first year of intercollegiate competition, it was decided to cut the cord with the flagship parent campus in Madison and adopt our own emblem. UW-Green Bay decided to send the water-skiing version of Bucky Badger on a permanent vacation.

The Fourth Estate printed a poll that gave the students the opportunity to vote for the new University mascot.  The choices ranged from the UW-Green Bay Loggers, Eco-men, Beavers, Voyageurs, and even the Fighting Tomatoes.  Other suggestions were related to environmental themes, due to our environmental reputation.

A favorite bit of early UWGB lore is that massive vote fraud pushed the off-beat entry “Tomatoes” to a first-place finish. The newspaper’s editor, Patrick Madden, class of ‘71, even confirms that version.

“(The newspaper) was running the election,” Madden said in a 1992 interview. “On the last day before publication some guy came in with a sketch of a tomato he had made in blue ink on notebook paper.”

Madden had to re-touch the art before it could appear in the newspaper on the official ballot. When Tomatoes squeaked to a 10-vote victory, as Madden tells the story, he revisited the rule book and declared the entry had not met the requirements for a “reproducible drawing.”

He also spared himself the agony of having to tell Founding Chancellor Edward Weidner that his beloved institution would have a Fighting Tomato as its mascot, its teams would have tomato-red jerseys, and its fans would rally players with shouts of “C’mon Tomatoes, ketch up!”

“Phoenix was accepted right away,” says Madden, who went on to a distinguished law career as a Wisconsin circuit court judge. “And there’s been no question it has been a great nickname.”

According to legend, the Phoenix lives for a 500-1000 year cycle, and when death approaches, the bird builds a nest, the nest is ignited by the sun, and the flames engulf the bird.  From the ashes, the Phoenix is reborn to live anew.  Emerging from the ashes, the phoenix symbolizes rebirth or regeneration.    The flame used in the design can be interpreted as the flame of knowledge and of regeneration.

The symbol emphasizes the singular closeness of campus and community; faculty, staff, and students; and teams representing the University.

For decades, UW-Green Bay was the only NCAA Division 1 sports program with the nickname “Phoenix” until a few years ago when D-1 newcomer Elon College in North Carolina decided to also adopt the nickname “Phoenix”.  At the small-college level, Swarthmore College and Wilson College have also jumped on the Phoenix bandwagon.


Focus on Registration

These are my favorite days of the year! All the freshman and their parents are coming to campus over the next weeks to sign up for classes and learn about all the resources available to them when they start school in the fall.

The neat part about what we call FOCUS: R&R (which means First year Opportunties and Connections for UW-Green Bay Students: Registration and Resources) is that the students get separated from the parents and they get to know other new students to UWGB. The Parents all stay together and get to learn how to be a great UWGB parents.

The energy is high around campus and people are having fun getting to know their new home away from home.  When students leave R&R they have a class schedule, student ID and the confidence to know they are going to have a great time learning and growing personally for the next few years.

As an Admissions Adviser, R&R is one of the best days of the whole year because we see all the people we’ve talked to, toured, read about, and admitted.  I’m including some pictures from the last few days…enjoy!