Alpha Psi Omega Brings Student Theater to UNC Asheville

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UNC Asheville drama honors club

By Karrigan Monk ‘18


From producing plays and reading original student work to an open mic night event known as Craberet in honor of the club’s crustacean mascot, Alpha Psi Omega, the drama honors society,  offers a dramatic experience for interested UNC Asheville students.

Alpha Psi Omega (APO) has existed in many forms on UNC Asheville’s campus since 2009, according to current president and junior drama major Grace Siplon.

“This is a really special club,” Siplon said. “We are part social group, part theater company, part honor’s society and part family. I wouldn’t be who I am without everything this club has given me.”

APO’s mission is to focus on exploration, education and student collaboration in a stage and creative environment. The club lives up to this mission in part by staging student-created plays.

“At its core, Alpha Psi Omega is about giving students a platform to explore different theatrical roles,” Siplon said.

Siplon said she was inspired to join APO after seeing their production of Lake Street Extension her freshman year. The following year she asked the club to produce The Stratford Sessions, her original work. After the success of The Stratford Sessions, Siplon became president of the club the following semester. She credits the talented membership with the success of the club.

“The community is spectacular,” Siplon said. “We are made up of all different majors and backgrounds but we all love what we do and love doing it with each other. We are all very close and we welcome all newcomers into the group with open arms.”

In order to be a member of APO, one must go through a two-tiered induction process. First, to be a local member, all one must do is attend meetings and show interest in the club and take an oath to APO’s mission statement at the induction ceremony, held April 5 this semester. After a year, local members are eligible to become national members. For national inductions, members must know the Greek alphabet and the name of every Greek organization on campus in addition to providing 12 lines of memorized Shakespeare and five minutes of entertainment.

Even if membership is not something a student is interested in, Siplon said people are still welcome to be involved in the productions without being an official member.

This semester APO staged drama student Justin Day’s Howl: Melusine in Portrait on March 29-31, and Professor of English David Hopes’ Antigonus is coming up on April 26-28. All performances are free to UNC Asheville students.

Alpha Psi Omega meets every other Thursday from 12-1 in Whiteside Hall 016.