By Eliana Diamond
One hour after my first table read for the Stern College Dramatics Society (SCDS) production of The Mousetrap last year, I called my mother and proudly announced to her, “They’re legit.” Looking around the room as every member of the play’s cast and crew introduced themselves, I was astonished at the quantity and quality of people invested in the show. I experienced, for the first time, what it was like to have departments dedicated to such production details as costumes, makeup, and marketing. During that moment last year, I felt incredibly supported in my love of theater within my school community.
Those people that astounded me last year at the table read became some of my closest friends and helped me integrate into YU society. Within my first semester, I felt a sense of community at a time when it can be hard to break the ice. However, not only was the ice broken with the members of SCDS, but many of my relationships formed with people who asked me, “Didn’t you play that Italian guy in the play?” While I hope my everyday look doesn’t really resemble a sleazy Italian man, I always appreciate the recognition for my acting role.
In the spring, it was my turn to ambush students in the elevators with compliments about their roles in the musical showcase. A night of duets, solos, dance breaks, and ensemble acts left my jaw on the floor. I laughed. I cried. I went through a range of emotions. This night, only for women, felt truly special. Hyperbolically deemed, “the best thing that ever happened at Stern,” the musical showcase allowed Jewish women the space to freely perform, express themselves, and have fun. The singers, dancers, choreographers, and crew put on a wonderful show, allowing every individual to showcase their talents. Meanwhile, as an audience member, I had a blast watching my friends, appreciating all the musical showtunes, the references, and the immense talent. Jewish women who enjoy performing, singing, and dancing struggle to find appropriate spaces to broadcast those talents. However, that night, I felt so grateful for SCDS, allowing this miraculous night to happen.
In that spirit, I decided to join the SCDS board this year to give back to the incredible organization I felt indebted to. Led by our fearless president, Gillian Herszage, SSSB ’24, SCDS events are in full swing. Our Fall 2023 production of The Anastasia Trials in the Court of Women is well underway, with performances approaching on December 3, 5, and 6, as well the annual musical showcase in the spring, and other theatrical programming throughout the year. SCDS promotes involvement in the arts for any interested parties! We care about providing women with spaces to express themselves creatively, and have fun by utilizing parts of themselves not always accessed through classes and schoolwork.
Those uninterested in performing or working in crew can still be involved by coming and supporting SCDS performances. The Anastasia Trials in the Court of Women is open to all, and will be a pleasure to watch. Each performance is intended to be different than the previous night, so you can always watch all three performances! The cast and crew have worked tirelessly to put together all the pieces of the production, and we’re excited for you to see it. As an audience member, you are not just an observer, you become a full-fledged member of the acclaimed SCDS.