Behind the curtains of HumPlay MMXVIII stand five Reedies, carefully selected for their memes and dedication, diligently twisting knobs and yelling at you to go back to drunkenly watching the show. This year’s incredible group of direktors is comprised of Sienna Holmes, Dex Marcus, Claire Patzman, Paulina Poleyumptewa, and Eileen Vert. Here’s what they want you to know about HumPlay!
Q: What was your favorite thing about HumPlay last year?
Eileen: As you can imagine, the cast is full of wonderful, kind, hilarious people who take a lot of time out of their busy, busy schedules to produce something silly for the community, so spending time goofing off with them while also creating something to be proud of was really fulfilling.
Claire: My favorite part of HumPlay last year was by far becoming a part of this huge, weird, super specific community. Many of the alums are still involved/incredibly passionate about HumPlay, so suddenly I got to be surrounded by people who cared just as much about this play as I did/do. And all of the cast members became so important to me and we created our own HumPlay MMXVII community.
Dex: My favorite part about HumPlay last year was how close the cast was and still is to this day. HumPlay allowed me to feel comfortable with myself because of the way the other people involved encouraged me to take risks and make big choices without judging me. There is nothing else that I have ever participated in that has made me feel as accepted and supported as HumPlay, and I think that without that experience I just wouldn’t be the person I am today.
Sienna: Last year, I was really isolated and confused because I didn’t have a great social circle, and I joined HumPlay on a whim, and now I have a really great circle of friends and it made me realize my own strengths and how to have confidence in myself
Q: What made you want to be a direktor?
Eileen: I believe strongly in the power of satire to bring others together. HumPlay balances presenting real criticism of the “Western canon” with Reed in-jokes and random bits of Greek mythology, and I think that this sort of location-based comedy is unifying for those in the community who appreciate this tradition. Also, I like dick jokes, all the swears, and being hella lewd. Plus, I get twenty-five new freshman friends for free!
Claire: HumPlay was such an important part of my freshman year, and I wanted to continue to be involved so I could bring those warm fuzzy feelings to a whole new group of people. Also, by being a direktor I hoped to finally fulfill my true desire — social approval from a bunch of freshman.
Dex: I knew the minute I was cast in HumPlay my freshman year that I would want to be a direktor for the following cast. Accepting this responsibility was one of the easiest decisions I’ve ever made. Although I knew that it was going to be a lot of late nights and hard work, I also knew that at the end of this process I was going to have twenty-five perfect, sweet angels to pass this wonderful legacy on to. Writing this skript, and watching the cast become these characters was the ultimate payoff.
Sienna: I know I’m super funny and I was really looking forward to being even more funnier when I wrote it. I also wanted to get that direkting practice for when I win my Palme d’Or.
Q: What are you most proud of for this HumPlay?
Eileen: The cast! They’ve worked so hard and really brought the skript we wrote to life, and I have endless gratitude for the hours they’ve lent us.
Claire: I second the cast. They somehow managed to nail every line I wrote exactly how I hoped it would play out, and worked so incredibly hard to create wild, dynamic characters. They found the perfect balance of being true to the skript and bringing their own personality to HumPlay.
Dex: I’m most proud of the cast (obviously) but also the environment that the cast has fostered. HumPlay, because it is such a vulnerable space (you know… because naked people and sexual innuendos and other on-the-nose topics, !!come to hvmplay to find out!!) there really is a risk that people will feel uncomfortable getting out there and screaming about dicks. This cast, however, has gone above and beyond to make sure that every single individual feels supported and comfortable. Of course, my co-direktors also deserve the utmost credit because each and every one of them cares so deeply about this cast and we honestly have all worked so hard at creating this safe space for the cast. Mostly, I’m just proud of the work we have created and the great fun and memories we had along the way.
Sienna: Very, very proud of the cast!! What a great, wild group of students.
Q: What was the biggest challenge in direkting?
Paulina: Vollum was actually scheduled for the weekend of April 20 (lmao) so our new performance date was two weeks before Renn Fayre, instead of the usual one week. This left us with two weeks less than last year, so we lost about twenty hours of rehearsal. The cast really brought their best though, and I’m seriously so stunned with how fast they stepped up to the plate.
Eileen: Logistics — there’s no checklist of non-direkting things we have to do and we don’t have any sort of advisors. There’s a lot that we had to figure out on our own. This is especially hectic close to the performances, and with five direktors, miscommunication and spotty delegation happens all the time.
Claire: Definitely trying to find time for five super busy people to be able to sit down and work on HumPlay. Five people doesn’t seem like a lot, but when you actually need to schedule meetings, it really is.
Dex: The biggest challenge by far was making the Big Decisions. When you have something like HumPlay, which is freshly rewritten for every production, there are so many directions you can go. Starting with a pretty blank slate is sort of like looking into a dark tunnel with no idea where it’s gonna go. Deciding on a theme, for instance, was something we wrestled around with for a while. Ultimately, I think that we did a great job of hearing everyone’s voices as much as possible and taking every viewpoint into account, but it definitely was very challenging.
Q: Why should people see HumPlay?
Eileen: I talked about this a little bit before — HumPlay is just a concentrated, extended Reed Meme (™) and I think that sharing in that experience of something only relevant in this community is ~special~ and brings people together. It’s lewd and naked and stupid, but if you remember shit from Hum there are a lot of intelligent references to the syllabus. After all, HumPlay’s meant to be a review for the Hum final!
Claire: HumPlay is a true labor of love. It outwardly may appear to be just a silly Reed tradition, but the five direktors have put in an entire year’s worth of effort in writing an entirely new skript and direkting the cast. We all love HumPlay so, so much, and I think that really shines through.
Dex: People should see HumPlay for a lot of reasons, but mostly to see how freaking hilarious these people are. Plus, if you’re frustrated, you get to just scream and scream and scream and scream until you can’t anymore! Freshmen should really come see it because it might actually help you pass that Hum final if you’ve been slacking on those readings. Honestly, come because it’s fun, it’s dramatic, it’s naked and weird and the best thing i’ve ever seen. If you don’t see it, you’re missing out.
Sienna: To get FUCKING WASTED and see some PEAK comedy.
Q: What do you want the audience to know before they come to HumPlay?
Eileen: Be prepared for LOTS of nudity, and an overwhelming sort of crowd on Friday. You might not be able to hear the actors at the Rowdy performance, but there’s a visual powerpoint presentation as well as some silly, silly choreography.
Claire: Brush up on your Vine references beforehand.
Dex: If lots and lots and lots of yelling will cause stress for you, maybe sit up in the balcony or close to the exit for a swift escape plan.
Q: Favorite Hum reference/meme?
Eileen: There’s a scene that’s literally just the skript from The Clouds, and it fits in HumPlay perfectly.
Claire: Oh god, I’ve been quoting HumPlay lines all semester and now that I’m asked I can’t think of my favorite. Probably just all the non-sequiturs that seem to pop up throughout the skript.
Dex: Give me Vine references or give me death!!
Sienna: It was the first scene I wrote but I wrote a scene for Paul that’s a direct rip-off from an ad from Better Call Saul and its very good niche humor *chefs kiss.*
Q: How do you think the new Hum syllabus will affect future HumPlays?
Eileen: HumPlay is obviously going to be very different — a lot of the “canonical” lines that are frequently reiterated in subsequent skripts are going to have to go to make room for new material. I think some of the beloved parts will stay, probably Apollo and Dionysus and the Greek chorus, probably togas, probably Sappho and the scene that’s a remnant of when the Bacchae were on the syllabus. And the direktors next year are going to be able to create a whole new tradition — which IS the point of HumPlay anyways. The tradition is necessarily fluid, so no matter how much the content changes next year, HumPlay will be the same thing as before.
Claire: Like what Eileen said, it’s likely that some of the traditions that people are most passionate about will stay, but there will also be a lot of room to introduce fresh ideas to what makes HumPlay HumPlay. Honestly, I don’t want to think about it too much because I really want to be surprised by the direction next year’s direktors take. It will be difficult to have so much freedom to make huge changes, but I’m also ridiculously excited about what new ideas the direktors will come up with.
Dex: HumPlay is a tradition, yes, but it is also an outlet for students that MUST adapt as the curriculum does. It might be a challenge for the next set of direktors to write a skript for a syllabus of a class they’ve never taken before, but I believe in their initiative to get the job done! It might change the structure of the performance, but the spirit of HumPlau will live on no matter what the material is. No change could stop HumPlay from having their tits out!!
Q: What is your favorite line from the skript?
Eileen: Logos? Word.
Claire: “I’m not sure how that’s relevant.”
Dex: Uh d-d-did you know in French, you don’t say “I miss you.” You say “baguette baguette eiffel tower” which means, “you are missing from me.” Isn’t that amazing?
Sienna: Pee is stored in the balls.