Theater fraternity travels to the big city

Katrina Sargent

Katrina Sargent

Seven shows in five days.

Members from the Alpha Phi Omega Alpha Psi Omega* fraternity spent part of spring break experiencing New York City. Musicals, visits with actors and former students and city life rounded out the trip.

“The whole point of the trip is to expose the kids to acting and New York City,” said Billy Wilburn, an assistant professor in the Communication Studies and Theatre Department and an adviser to APO at SDSU.

Every other year, APO takes students who are involved with the fraternity to NYC to see Broadway shows, meet with friends, actors and tour places like the Radio City Music Hall and the United Nations, said Wilburn.

This year, 23 students went on the trip.

“We have been doing this for at least 20 years, but probably closer to 30,” Wilburn said.

As a group, they attended three shows: Billy Elliot, In The Heights and Heroes, as well as a preview of Hair.

“My favorite part was probably just the amount of theatre seen in such a short amount of time. I went to seven shows on a five day trip,” said Heather Slunecka, a junior communication studies and theatre major.

“Hair was the most educational part,” said Slunecka. She said they had the opportunity to go on stage and talk with the actors because it was a preview.

“Hair was my favorite,” said Rachel Foth.

Foth graduated in December but is still involved with APO and Capers.

“It was a new and different type of show,” she said. “It is from the ’60s, you really don’t see musicals like that anymore. It was nice to bring it back.”

The group was also able to go backstage at the Radio City Music Hall and meet a Rockette, Wilburn said.

“We saw behind the stage and got to see how it moves,” said Wilburn.

The reason for the trip is to expose the students to New York City, introduce them to former students who are now living there and to see what it is like to be an actor and live in New York City.

“We do the same things that they do, but it’s just really far away,” said Wilburn.

Fundraising paid for most of the trip.

APO hosts events such as Capers and dances, said Wilburn.

They are hosting a St. Patrick’s Day dance March 19 at the Performing Arts Center at 7 p.m.

“We do lots of things to raise money,” said Wilburn.

After a full year of performance, students felt the trip was well deserved.

“It was a nice thank you for all the work we put in during the last year,” said Slunecka. “Our department did a lot for us, it was a great trip to experience.”

“It is wonderful that they [APO] do it at an affordable price for the students,” said Foth.

“Students are eligible for the trip by being a member of APO,” said Wilburn.

Membership is based on the amount of commitment and involvement and a high grade point average, he said.

*Editor’s Note: Alpha Psi Omega was incorrectly identified in the Mar. 18 issue of The Collegian.