Examining the closest MVP race in years

By Nick Forbes Asst. sports editor

As the 2016 NFL season finds itself in the closing stages of the regular season, it is time once again to start narrowing down the finalists for the coveted Most Valuable Player award.

As per usual, a handful of quarterbacks lead the pack, putting up career numbers with their respective teams and boasting some of the best records in the NFL. Lurking right behind the usual quarterback suspects is a rookie phenom who has taken the league by storm. Here is the MVP case for the current frontrunners in the tightest race in years.

According to ESPN rankings released on Nov. 30, Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr is the favorite to win the award. The third year quarterback, who has eclipsed 3,000 yards passing every year since entering the NFL, has given Raiders fans something they can finally cheer about: a winning season.

2016 marks the first time Oakland will experience a winning season since 2002 when they won the NFC. In 2016, Carr has been nothing short of electric, promoting hope in the Bay area.

Through 12 weeks, Carr has totaled 3,115 yards with 22 touchdowns and a 100.5 passer rating. But with Carr, hiding behind the numbers do not really do him justice. The passion and desire to win that Carr plays with is almost unrivaled.

His most recent victory over a surging Carolina Panthers squad featured Carr dislocating his pinky in two places before reentering the game to toss the game tying touchdown in the waning minutes of the fourth quarter.

Carr then led the Raiders on an 82-yard drive to set up what would be the game-winning field goal.

Carr is looking like the real deal, and regardless of the outcome of this years MVP race, it is safe to say that Carr will be one of the next elite quarterback in the NFL.

Behind Carr sits a man who is no stranger to the MVP conversation, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady.

Brady, who could logically be included in this conversation every year, is no doubt better than Carr, but a four-game suspension at the beginning of this year has hindered his numbers and his legitimacy as an MVP candidate this season.

But while the numbers were hindered, they don’t lie. The Patriots are 9-2 entering week 13, and in the seven games he has played thus far, Brady has thrown for 2,201 yards.

What’s more impressive is his 18 touchdowns compared to just one interception during this time span. And to think that Brady has performed this well given the Patriots’ offensive adversity, with injuries to all-pro tight ends Rob Gronkowski and Martellus Bennett, Brady’s case gains a little credibility.

Brady’s fire has burned extra bright this season because Brady is not only playing with a chip on his shoulder, but rather the entire boulder. The asinine four-game suspension handed down by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell due to the infamous “Deflategate” scandal enraged Patriots and NFL fans alike.

An MVP award would be the second-biggest middle finger Brady could give Goodell this season.

Behind Brady is Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan. Yeah, his numbers are pretty on paper—3,516 yards with 26 touchdowns—but the Falcons are still just 7-4, and in an offense featuring one of the best receivers in the league in Julio Jones and a more than solid running back-by-committee, it’s hard to say that Ryan is the most valuable player.

Plus, Ryan’s just kind of boring so we’re going to skip him and talk about someone more exciting.

Ezekiel Elliott. Just wow. The Cowboys’ rookie running back has lit up the field this season like no one has before. His 1,199 rushing yards and 11 rushing touchdowns through 11 games are reminiscent of Adrian Peterson’s breakout rookie season in 2007.

Cowboys’ owner Jerry Jones has said there are no plans to decrease Elliott’s workload in the home stretch of the season, meaning it’s likely Elliott will surpass the marks set by Peterson in his rookie campaign.

Despite the power, the numbers and the overall flash of Zeke Elliott, he will not win the MVP vote. Why? Not just because he is a running back in a league that puts quarterbacks on the highest pedestal, but rather because Elliott is working behind one of the best offensive lines in NFL history.

There is an argument to be made that you, the person sitting at home reading this right now, could rush for 1,000 yards behind this powerhouse offensive line.

There you have it, the case for the top four frontrunners in the MVP race.

But who knows, with a lot of football left to be played, the NFL has taught us that anything can happen.

River Hawks easily handle PSU-Harrisburg

By Mike Henken Staff writer

The No. 19-ranked Susquehanna men’s basketball team beat Penn State Harrisburg 82- 56 away at the Capital Union Building on Nov. 27. The win marked the River Hawks’ fourth in a row.

The Lions were leading Susquehanna 17-16 midway through the first half of play, but the River Hawks grabbed the lead and did not relinquish it throughout the duration of the contest.

Susquehanna went on to outscore Penn State Harrisburg 66-39 during the remainder of the game and the team entered halftime with a 39-28 lead.

The River Hawks were led by sophomore guard Tyler Hoagland and senior guard Steve Weidlich who both contributed 16 points to the team’s victory.

Hoagland had 11 points in the first half, including three baskets from beyond the arc. Weidlich found most of his success at the free throw line, making 10 of his 12 attempts.

Hoagland also led the Susquehanna defense, nabbing a game-high three steals.

Junior center Ryan Traub added 14 points of his own, while freshman forward Jacob Welsh tallied 13 points, which is a career high.

Welsh also added a career-high seven rebounds.

Rebounds turned out to be a key factor in Susquehanna’s victory, as the team out rebounded the Lions 42-29. Susquehanna also shot the ball better, shooting 47 percent from the field compared to Penn State Harrisburg’s mark of 31 percent.

The River Hawks also made 30 of 37 free throw attempts as opposed to Penn State Harrisburg’s 14 of 22.

Susquehanna’s defense was tough all night, forcing the Nittany Lions into difficult shots.

Although it hasn’t been without adversity, the River Hawks have jumped out to a strong start this season, which Weidlich attributes to multiple factors.

“I think we can attribute our team’s strong start to our persistence as a unit,” he said. “All of our guys have been tuned in and focused during practice which has enabled us to play deeper into our bench with the amount of injuries we have had to start the season.”

“We dealt with quite a bit of adversity in our first five games, but we saw guys step up and fill voids that needed to be filled. Hopefully, this foreshadows a positive future as we developed a deep bench during the injuries and now have players returning. All in all, I can attribute our strong start to the young guys on our team stepping up and filling the roles of some veterans that were battling injuries.”

Susquehanna is now gearing up to begin conference play, as the team will next travel to Baltimore on Saturday, Dec. 3 to take on Goucher at 4 p.m.

While Weidlich admitted that preparation hasn’t changed much heading into conference play, he did say that there’s a strong feeling of “excitement” in the air.

“The team has been preparing for conference play just like we prepared for our out-of-conference games,” he said.

“Our approach has remained fairly consistent as our goal with our out-of-conference schedule is to get us as prepared for conference play so we treat those games as if they were a conference game,” he said. “But, there is definitely a feeling of excitement within the team as we are eager to start the ‘games that count.’”

Athletes prepare for indoor track season

By Akshay Kripalani Staff writer

Indoor track season has arrived once again on the Susquehanna campus.

Both the men’s and women’s indoor track teams had fantastic seasons last year. Both teams made it to the Landmark Conference finals where the teams finished in second place.

Both teams fell to Moravian in the championship. The Greyhounds have dominated the Landmark Conference over the past decade.

Head Coach Marty Owens, who works with both teams, is very enthusiastic about the upcoming season.

“The coaching staff goes into the season with guarded optimism regarding expectations,” he said. “Despite the graduation of a few key scorers for the teams, we return a solid number of athletes who could place on the podium in their respective events.”

“We have a lot of talented newcomers who will add some depth to the squad.” Owens added.

“While our expectations are always to challenge for a conference title, the coaching staff understands that it will take the early part of the competitive season to develop the younger athletes into the rigors of collegiate track & field,” he continued. “We have 12 weeks till the Landmark Conference Indoor Track & Field Championships and that is our main focus. The key word for the team is patience.”

Senior sprinter Armond Owens also felt optimistic about the upcoming season.

“I think that this season will go very well as long as we can all remain healthy,” he said. “We have all been training very hard since August and I think that will be reflective in our performances this year.”

Armond Owens added, “I expect to see us exactly where we want to be later in the season.”

Senior distance runner Emily Leboffe said, “In terms of our women’s distance team, I think we are looking toward a really strong indoor and outdoor season.”

“We are coming off one of our best cross-country seasons, where multiple girls set new [personal records] and we have improved our ability to stay mentally tough during races,” Leboffe continued. “I think this is a great spot to be transitioning into the new track season, along with our sprinting and field groups.”

“Personally, I hope to stay healthy for this track season and work towards a new [5 kilometer personal record].”

Both teams start their indoor season on Dec. 3 at home in the River Hawk Opener.

River Hawks lose to Lycoming

By Melissa Barracato Staff writer

The Susquehanna women’s basketball team suffered its first loss of the season against Lycoming on Nov. 27 at Lycoming.

After a close first half, the Warriors went on a run and never looked back as they created a gap between themselves and the River Hawks on the scoreboard.

With the loss, the River Hawks are 3-1 on the season.

Halfway through the first half, the River Hawks were down by a basket with the score at 14-12.

Then the Warriors were able to force an eight-point lead with about four minutes left in the half until the River Hawks closed the half on an 11-4 run to push themselves ahead by one with the score at 32-31 to end the first half.

“We ended up finishing the first half pretty strong,” Head Coach Jim Reed said. “It was a back-and-forth battle. Both teams played tough on the defensive end.”

The Warriors came out strong in the second half and gained a nine-point lead, which the River Hawks could not overcome.

Susquehanna struggled to score points in the second half, shooting 28 percent in the period.

Late in the game, Susquehanna fell further behind when Lycoming closed the game on a 14-7 run to end the game with a final score of 66- 53 Lycoming.

Lycoming tallied 41 rebounds to Susquehanna’s 33. The Warriors also were able to score 15 points off turnovers, whereas the River Hawks only tallied 10 points off Lycoming turnovers.

“They garnered seven extra possessions because we didn’t get a shot on those [possessions] and gave away turnovers,” Reed said. “When you add the two factors of rebounding and turnovers, that’s really in essence how they won.”

Lycoming took 66 total shots to Susquehanna’s 49, with its field goal percentage at 39.4. Susquehanna also gave up 17 turnovers to Lycoming’s 10.

“You have to win the battle of possessions,” Reed said.

Starting seniors center Nicole Gault, forward Lexi Biggs-Garcia and guard Nikki Komara had six points apiece while the sophomore guard Bailey Trell had eight.

Junior guard Tess Nichols contributed four rebounds. Junior guard Angie Schedler and freshman guard Janine Conway scored 11 points each off the bench.

Freshman guard Rachel Sweger added 3 points and junior forward Courtney Adams chipped in 2 points for the River Hawks.

The bench made up 27 of the River Hawks’ 53 points in the loss.

Susquehanna has started out its season strong, despite this loss.

The River Hawks went undefeated for their first three games of the season.

However, they have faced some ongoing difficulties as injuries have played a role in keeping players off the court throughout preseason and into the current season.

“We’re finding our way, relative to who’s playing where and how much. It’s been tough to get a good gauge on where our team is at this point,” Reed said.

Looking ahead, Susquehanna will play at Goucher on Saturday, Dec. 3 at 2 p.m. in its first conference matchup of the season.

Senior captain Nick Fecci hangs up cleats after four years

By Pat Delp Staff writer

With the bases loaded and two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning, the batter could feel the tension cutting through the air like a knife.

He was up against the best pitcher in the world and he needed a hit to give his team the win.

The pitcher wound up and delivered and the batter swung and drove the ball over the fence farther than he ever had before.

However, this was not in a major league stadium where a lucky fan could go chasing after it. This stadium was created in the imagination of Nicholas Fecci and the whiffle ball he hit went flying into his neighbors’ backyard.

Some people may know Fecci as just a face on campus, or maybe a senior midfielder on the men’s soccer team, but there is a side to Fecci that not too many people know.

Fecci was born on July 13, 1995 in Red Bank, New Jersey to his parents Al and Kirby Fecci. With older sister Sybil and older brother Chris, Fecci is the youngest in his family, although he is close with both of his siblings.

He lived in Brick Township until he was seven and then he moved to Point Pleasant where he currently still lives today. For those of you unfamiliar to New Jersey, Brick Township and Point Pleasant are mainstays for the show “Jersey Shore.”

Growing up “down the shore,” Fecci often found himself on the beach playing any sport he could. Although he loved whiffle ball in his backyard, he always dreamed of being a professional soccer player.

“You always want to be a professional player in the sport that you play growing up and I was no exception,” Fecci said.

During his four years at Point Pleasant Borough High School, Fecci played a wide variety of sports. During his freshman year he played basketball as well as soccer.

After deciding he no longer wanted to pursue basketball, Fecci ran winter and spring track while still playing soccer in the fall.

Looking back at his athletic career in high school, Fecci remembered most fondly when he scored on his school’s bitter rival in soccer. To this day he claims it’s the best goal he’s ever scored.

As his high school career soon came to an end, Fecci found himself trying to decide where he should go to college. He knew that he wanted to play soccer, but despite being a strong player in high school Fecci fell through the recruiting cracks.

He emailed coaches by the dozen, expressing his interest in their school and their programs, but he never heard back from most.

When it came time to decide where to go, he found himself with three options: Hood, Widener and Susquehanna.

“I decided to go to [Susquehanna] because Coach Findlay gave me a call one night asking if I would come and join the team. He was the first and only coach to show interest in my future soccer career and I decided that night to go,” Fecci said.

That phone call proved to be more influential for the both of them than either realized at the time. Findlay had not only just recruited a strong forward but a four-year contributor and the eventual co-captain of his team.

In his senior season, Fecci started in 17 games and had three goals and one assist with 35 shots as one of the River Hawks’ offensive leaders with the second most points on the season with seven. He led the team in shots as well as shots on goal and was a constant threat to score whenever he touched the ball.

Over the course of his four-year career, Fecci played in 71 games while totaling 11 goals along with three assists, tallying 25 points. He scored at least two goals each season for all four years.

Fecci also tallied two game-winning goals while at Susquehanna, one of which came during this season.

While Fecci was part of the men’s soccer team at Susquehanna, it only finished with a losing record in the Landmark Conference once. That happened during Fecci’s sophomore year.

The team reached the conference playoffs in each of the other seasons Fecci played.

His fondest memory at Susquehanna was winning the Landmark Conference Championship during his freshman year.

“Being on the field for the final seconds [of the Conference Championship game] and running into the crowd was incredible and something I will never forget,” Fecci said.

Now that Fecci has hung up the cleats and his career has come to a close, he is looking forward to the rest of his final year at Susquehanna. Without soccer on his plate, what will Fecci be up to? He plans to enjoy the rest of the time he has with his friends.

Although adjusting to change is difficult and Fecci said he misses the game passionately every day, he now has had time to appreciate other aspects of the college life and catch up on his studies.

Fecci is currently in his final year as an accounting major in the Sigmund Weis School of Business at Susquehanna.

So if you see Fecci on campus walking to class, eating with his friends at the Hawk’s Nest or hanging out on the weekend, don’t be afraid to ask him about his could-have-been whiffle ball career or the 120-yard hole-in-one that he hit playing golf as a nine-year-old. He is always up for meeting new people.

Writer suggests varying holiday films

By Megan Ruge Asst. living and arts editor

With winter break just around the corner and finals two weeks away, it is time for the Christmas season madness to begin. Radio stations have already started playing Christmas tunes and the Hallmark Channel is releasing back-to-back Christmas specials every day.

That being said, it is time for the Netflix Christmas movie list. The following films can be found in the Netflix archives by simply searching the word “Christmas.”

All of the films on this list come from different genres across the board and are definitely worth your time this holiday season.

The first film on our list comes to us from the Christmas archives. The 1954 classic “White Christmas” tells the story of two war buddies and friendly singers, Bob Wallace and Phil Davis, who meet and fall for sisters Betty and Judy Haynes.

The men follow the sisters to a quaint country inn in rural Vermont where they find their former commanding officer, General Waverly, who owns the place.

When they learn that Waverly is struggling financially the two men put their minds to work and plan a musical extravaganza with the two young ladies that is sure to put Waverly back on his feet. The movie also features the famous Irving Berlin song by the same name, “White Christmas.”

The next holiday classic comes to us from the archives of Hallmark holiday classics. “The Christmas Card” is the story of a soldier who travels to a town from which he received a well-wishing card.

The card was sent from a church as part of a project that was meant to be a goodwill effort. When he meets the woman who wrote the card, he falls in love.

The man is immediately accepted as one of the family by her parents and his time with them is something he never expected.

The next film on our list is “BoJack Horseman Christmas Special: Sabrina’s Christmas Wish.” This Christmas special comes to us from the Netflix adult cartoon series, “BoJack Horseman.”

This episode shows BoJack not caring one bit about Christmas, but then his friend Todd shows up with a giant candy cane and an episode of “Horsing Around” that gets BoJack in the holiday spirit.

The next movie on our list isn’t a movie at all. “The Radio City Christmas Spectacular” is an annual musical event that displays the Radio City Rockettes, a precision dancing group whose high kicks have given it a reputation. The show includes singing and dancing as well as traditional and humorous scenes.

“The Radio City Christmas Spectacular” is a well-known, family-friendly tradition, but it’s also expensive. The fact that the season’s big event is now available on Netflix makes it an occasion to shout for joy.

The next film on the list is “Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmas.” The Disney Christmas classic shares three stories of Mickey Mouse and his friends on Christmas. Each story tells of the characters learning lessons and trying to do the best they can for their families on Christmas.

The first story, “Stuck on Christmas,” shows Donald Duck’s three nephews learning a lesson of selflessness on Christmas day.

The second story, “A Very Goofy Christmas,” tells of Goofy and his son Max writing letters to Santa. Goofy is struggling to make Christmas perfect for his son.

The third story, “Gift of the Magi,” tells of struggling lovers Mickey and Minnie who each want to get the most meaningful thing for the other for Christmas.

These films are just a starting point for what you might find on Netflix and will hopefully act as a guide for your holiday viewing pleasure

‘Vinegar Tom’ to recognize witch hunts in Puritan era

By Megan Ruge Asst. living and arts editor

The Susquehanna University Department of Theatre will open “Vinegar Tom,” on Dec. 8 at 7:30 p.m.

“The play tells the story of three women in the 17th century [England] who are accused of being witches,” sophomore Rachel Heide said. “You, the audience member, learn about their struggle and get to decide for yourself whether or not you truly believe that they are witches.”

During the show the audience will see the plot unfold from the perspective of multiple townspeople who are part of the witch hunt, Heide said. Between many of the episodic scenes are songs that reflect on events in the show.

The show’s theme can be debated by the audience, but Heide has an idea of her own.

“I would say the theme is belief or believing,” Heide said. “The show depends a lot on the idea of people’s belief in witches and whether or not the three women are actually witches.”

She added that the play will leave audiences thinking about its nature and messages. The show will allow the audience to ponder the nature of sexism and social issues in that specific time period and how it shaped the events that happened.

Junior Rebekah Krumenacker, a “Vinegar Tom” cast member, commented on the how the show conveys this message.

“There are two male characters in the show, one is played by a male and the other is played by a female,” Krumenacker said. “The men are very controlling in this show; they have the power to be like ‘you’re a witch, we’re going to hang you or kill you,’ so it’s very interesting that that role is then played by a woman.”

Krumenacker said there are two other males in the cast who act as narrators, but they narrate for the women in the show.

The show not only speaks about sexism in the 17th century but in today’s society as well.

“Men still have more rights than women in some extent with the wage gap, and often people will still trust a man over a woman. In day-to-day life, women still do get treated differently,” Krumenacker said.

“I think it’s important to know that you can’t just call someone out to avoid your problems. Everyone has rights and no one should be oppressed for being different,” Krumenacker continued.

“Sexism is not something that ended in the 1900s; it is still happening today,” Heide said. “Although it has changed its shape, it is there and we must not ignore it.”

Though the show contains this light on social issues, the cast wants the audience to know that this show is not meant to attack or offend, but it is meant to inform and entertain.

“We aren’t trying to bash men or anything,” Krumenacker said. “It’s more that we are trying to make people aware of what went on that we had no idea about… there is so much more that we don’t know. There are so many ways that these women were tortured and manipulated.”

Three groups of Susquehanna students perform chamber music recital

By Danielle Bettendorf Staff writer

Susquehanna students performed a chamber music recital on Nov. 30 in Stretansky Concert Hall.

Three groups of students performed, with different instruments in each group.

In the first group, senior Tia Kissinger and juniors Darby Orris, Jessica Portzline and Luke Duceman performed “Trois Pieces” by Isaac Albeniz on saxophone.

In the second group, senior Mike Kaminski, sophomores Gus Black and Carissa Sweet and first-years Jacob Bodinger, William Meriney and Hayden Stacki performed percussion on the pieces “Guatamalan Folk Song” arranged by David Vincent, “Gainsborough” by Thomas Gauger and “Cymbalectomy” by Chris Crockarell.

In the final group, senior Victoria Hogan performed on violin, senior Alethea Khoo performed on piano and junior Brett Heffelfinger performed on cello. They performed “Piano Trio in E-flat, Op. 1, No. 1” by Ludwig van Beethoven.

In that same final group, the students had some direction from a professor as to which piece they would play.

“[Jennifer] Wiley gave us a list of a couple different things,” Heffelfinger said.

“We picked as a group which thing we were going to do: it was the one we liked the most, and it seemed like it would have been manageable to put together in a semester,” Heffelfinger added.

For his group, Heffelfinger said preparations went well, although the group had to make some arrangements.

“Our group has done fairly well preparing,” he said.

“We’ve gotten through and learned every movement, but due to time constraints we have to take out one of them,” Heffelfinger added.

Heffelfinger also emphasized that the concert was entirely composed of groups of students, rather than larger groups or individual performers.

“Unlike a lot of the other recitals that go on in a semester, this one [has] all student groups, rather than large ensembles led by one director or a guest artist or faculty,” Heffelfinger said. “It’s all small groups of students.”

“Essentially it’s the teamwork of that group and the work of just that small group,” Heffelfinger continued.

Audience members seemed to find the concert entertaining, even if they were not particularly familiar with the type of music performed.

“I liked it,” junior Violeta Migirov said. “I usually don’t listen to classical music or anything instrumental, so it was really interesting. It was a new experience for me.”

Others approached the recital from a more technical standpoint, and highlighted the work the students put into their performances.

“It was really great,” junior Ariana Dellosa said. “I know how hard the students worked to put this concert together, so it was great to see the final product.”

“I really liked the cymbal piece,” Dellosa added.

“I thought that was really fun. I also liked the one with [Hogan, Heffelfinger and Khoo] at the end. I thought that was particularly beautiful. It was well balanced, and they did a really great job,” Dellosa continued.

“We’re in their studio class, so it’s nice to see how much they’ve progressed,” junior Casey Lynch added. “We got to see it from the beginning and all the way through.”

Dellosa and Lynch also highlighted the bond between the musicians and how that translated in their performance.

“They have a nice language between them,” Dellosa said.

“They’re really well connected when they play,” Lynch added.

The performance was one of the last musical performances of the semester.

On Dec. 5, “Jazz at Charlie’s” will take place at 8 p.m. in Charlie’s Coffeehouse.

On Dec. 8, Andrew Rammon, adjunct faculty music, and Naomi Niskala, associate professor of music, will perform a faculty recital at 7:30 p.m. in Stretansky Concert Hall.

Patrick Long, professor of music, will be giving a recital in Stretansky Concert Hall on Jan. 24 at 7:30 p.m.

These concerts are presented by the Susquehanna Department of Music.

Senior theater majors to present student directing showcase

By Parker Thomas Staff Writer

The theater performance majors of Susquehanna will be premiering one act plays that they have each directed as part of the Student Directing Showcase on Dec. 12 and Dec. 13 at 6:30 p.m. in Degenstein Theater.

As part of their curriculum, theater performance majors are required to take directing, a course only available to them as seniors, following their completion of the rest of the department requirements.

In the beginning of the class, each student selected a 10-minute, one act play from a series of anthologies and then decided together as a class when to schedule auditions for their one acts.

Before auditions took place, students were taught by Douglas Powers, associate professor of theater, on what to look for in the actors they would audition. Then they were required to develop a vision on what direction they wanted to take in the production and casting of the play. Auditions were open to all students on campus and were held earlier in the fall.

After the auditions, the student directors discussed amongst themselves who they wanted for what position, and they cast the members of each play.

Following casting, the student directors were taught the fundamentals of directing, the use of lighting and set pieces to further create a story on stage and also how to speak to their actors using technical terms they could understand, since some of them were non-theater majors.

During these lectures, students could also ask questions of Powers about their production and the struggles they may have been facing.

“It is very much a give and take class,” senior Hunter Brady said. “He is really guiding us through the process of being a director.”

In total, thirteen seniors will be presenting one act plays over the course of Dec. 12 and Dec. 13. The acts will be divided across the two nights as to prevent two extremely long performances that would otherwise last up to three hours each. Each performance should last roughly an hour.

Brady and senior Fatima Farris spoke about their acts, the difficulties they faced and the knowledge they gained from their productions.

Brady described her act, “Story of My Life,” as “scandalous.” The play involves two cousins, Gena, played by sophomore Amber Legge, and Pat, played by first-year Nolan Nightingale, who run into each other at a first communion party, realize that they are related, and try to come to terms with the fact that the two of them had been seeing each other without knowing they are related.

Both characters are polar opposites of the other and must decide whether or not they wish to stay with each other.

Brady said the main challenge in directing this play was overcoming the uncomfortable topic of incest. She stated that through directing the portrayal of the humor and romance between the two actors she has been pushing to overcome this.

Brady has also faced problems in teaching acting methods to the students, especially since one of them is not a theater major.

Additionally, Brady admits that she has absorbed the information taught to her differently, making it difficult for her to teach back the same way she was taught it.

Still, Brady said that she has been able to get through this thanks to the patience and flexibility of her actors.

Farris, who has previously done directing, also expressed a great deal of appreciation for her actors. Farris’ play, “Guys,” is about two men in a fast food restaurant who are speaking vulgarly about women and how to woo a certain patron of the restaurant.

Farris has added a twist to her own production by casting two women as the characters of the play.

“I wanted to find the irony in something that is seemingly shallow by having these girls be these guys saying vulgar things about a woman,” Farris said. “I think it is really funny.”

Farris had her actors get heavily involved in their roles by having them study their male friends sitting and walking patterns and having one of them alter their voice to sound deeper. Both actors will also be wearing men’s clothing in the production.

Farris also stated that she enjoyed her actors’ ability to cope with her directing style, which she described as “direct.” To soften her directness, Farris said that she develops her critiques on the two actors in the form of complimentary statements, where she identifies both the problem and something that the actors did extremely well on.

“I encourage people to go see [the one acts], simply because it is time away from studying and the hustle of stress from the finals,” Brady said. “Art is a great way to escape the stress of the world, and I think people forget that.”

“I think one thing with theater that gets so often swept under the rug is that it is one thing to go look at a gallery of paintings which is so relaxing, but when you get into a theater and your peers are on stage who put so much work into it, you are often in shock of what you see because you don’t expect it,” Brady continued.

Musicians perform variety of works

By Danielle Bettendorf Staff Writer

The Susquehanna symphonic band performed a concert on Nov. 20 at 2:30 p.m. in Stretansky Concert Hall.

According to first-year Elias Assad, who played the string bass, the band worked to improve the repertoire each time they met.

Prior to the concert, Assad said: “[Practices have] been going pretty well. Each time we meet, we look at different pieces.”

“When we look at each piece, we single out what’s wrong with it and build upon that,” Assad continued.

The band performed “Chester: Overture for Band” by William Schuman and “Riften Wed” by Julie Giroux.

The band also performed “Scenes from ‘The Louvre’” by Norman Dello Joio, “Celebrations” by John Zdechlik, “Flourish for Wind Band” by Ralph Vaughan Williams, “Tails aus dem Vood Viennoise” by Bill Connor and “Sleigh Ride” by Leroy Anderson.

Eric Hinton, associate professor of music and the director of bands, said he chose the pieces based on the students’ musical skills and also based on what both the band and the audience will enjoy.

“I choose the repertoire based on the capabilities of the ensemble,” Hinton said. “I’m looking for works that will challenge them and help them grow.”

“I also try to create an interesting and varied program that will interest the players and the audience,” Hinton added.

According to Hinton, the pieces chosen vary both in form and the time period during which they were composed.

“The works on this program span from 1939 to 2013 and embrace many different styles,” Hinton said.

For example, one of the pieces takes inspiration from the 2011 video game “Skyrim.”

Julie Giroux, the composer, described the world of “Skyrim” as being one in which love is “a gift worthy of all the joy and pain it demands.”

Other pieces had more of a historical influence and drew on the influence of previous musical compositions.

“We’re also doing a work by William Schuman based on a revolutionary war tune of William Billings,” Hinton said.

Hinton also singled out a work by Bill Connor, which is made up of three sections: “Cemetery,” “Dawn Assault” and “Just Retribution.”

“The biggest work on the program is written by a British composer Bill Connor,” Hinton said. “This is a 22-minute work comprised of three movements that serve as a sort of commentary on our increasing inhumanity.”

With seven pieces and a wide variety of genres, audience members expressed their thoughts on the band’s performance.

“This is my first band concert here at [Susquehanna], and I thought it was phenomenal,” first-year Vanessa Lloyd said. “It had a wide variety of different kinds of music, and it was great.”

With regards to the pieces, Hinton also said that there are some technical aspects that might have seemed new to audiences.

“[The] Bill Connor piece has aleatoric elements,” Hinton said. “Some of the woodwinds play melodic material in a purposefully uncoordinated manner.”

“This piece also requires some extended techniques that ask flutes and clarinets to play and sing at the same time,” Hinton continued. “We’ve had quite a bit of fun with that.”

The Nov. 20 performance was the first of three annual concerts involving the symphonic band.