One Senior’s Oglethorpe Bucket List: 20 Must-Do Activities for Every Stormy Petrel

Janet Wood '13

With a less than two weeks left until graduation, reality has started to set in. Soon, Oglethorpe will not only be my university: it will be my alma mater.

As a senior, everything from conversations with nostalgic friends to commencement updates constantly remind me that this formal departure from my second home is imminent. That being said, I find myself reflecting on not only my Oglethorpe experience, but the parts of OU that I have not yet experienced.

During a discussion in my senior psychology class the idea came up to create an Oglethorpe bucket list—a list of things that every Petrel must do before the long-awaited graduation day. I’ve asked OU students and alumni to submit items to the bucket list, and compiled them below. So Petrels, next time you’re looking for a good Ogle-adventure, why not scratch a few things off “OUr” bucket list?

  1. Walk around campus at night and discover how breathtaking Oglethorpe looks after dark
  2. Pull an all-nighter in the 24 Hour Room
  3. Have a picnic, play Frisbee, or just enjoy the weather on the quad with some friends
  4. Enjoy telescope night on the roof of the library
  5. Sunbathe with some friends at  the baseball stadium when no one else is there
  6.  Run through the sprinklers on the quad
  7. Go to lunch at that one restaurant you’ve been meaning to try ever since you got to Oglethorpe
  8. Watch a meteor shower from the Traer courtyard or soccer field
  9. Take MARTA downtown and explore the city—no plan, no destination, just a free afternoon and sense of adventure
  10. Visit all the Atlanta hotspots (i.e. World of Coke, CNN, Piedmont Park, Georgia Aquarium, Rocky Horror Picture Show, High Museum, etc.)
  11. Try to take a picture of the Ogle-turkey, Ogle-kitty, Fratcoon, or whatever animal is roaming the campus at the time
  12. Show your support: go to an Oglethorpe play, cheer on the Petrels at a sporting event, go to Greek Sing, visit the Oglethorpe University Museum of Art
  13. Be an active member or participant of something
  14. Drive to Buford Highway and try a new food that you’ve never heard of and cannot pronounce
  15. Have a mini photo shoot in Little 5 Points
  16. Be adventurous. Go white water rafting on the Chattahoochee River, skydive, rock climb at Atlanta Rocks, etc.
  17. Be in a campus publication
  18. Climb a tree on campus
  19. Take a road trip with a friend and spend the night in a new city
  20. Count how many Oglethorpe T-shirts you have…I promise it will be more than you thought

And don’t forget, there’s always Alumni Weekend to finish checking off the list! So, what would YOU add to the list?

Thank you to the contributors of this list: Katie Goddard, Tori Lloyd, Justin Sabree, Betsy Rosillo, Rieddhi Shah, Christian Hartnett, Joshua Steltzer, Morgan Coffey, Marisa Manuel, Dr. Zinner’s History and Systems class.


Oglethorpe Theatre Presents ‘Bard’s Best!’

The OU Blog recently caught up with  the cast and director of Bard’s Best!, a collaboration between Georgia Shakespeare and the OU Theatre Program that stars a versatile company of six actors performing Shakespeare’s greatest hits. Favorite selections from the Bard’s most beloved plays leap from the page onto the Oglethorpe stage including Hamlet, Macbeth, Twelfth Night, As You Like It and Much Ado About Nothing—just to name a few!  Two performances remain: Friday and Saturday, September 23 & 24 at 8:00 p.m.  Free with a Petrel Pass or $7 general admission. Tickets at the door only.

OU Blog: Tell me more about the play.

Allen O’Reilly, director: Bard’s Best! is a wonderful compilation of Shakespeare’s best plays, scenes and monologues…It embellishes the versatility of the actors as they are all cast as more than one character.

OU Blog: What have you enjoyed most about this experience?

O’Reilly: The collaboration between the Theatre program and Georgia Shakespeare has proven to be very beneficial to both the students and the seasoned theater professionals. Many of the students cast in this play are recipients of the Georgia Shakespeare and the James E. Oglethorpe Scholarships, and this production has given them a unique opportunity to work with theatre professionals.

Sengens Amy-Cupp ’14: This experience has been very hands-on. I did all the hair and make up for the show, but along with it I also learned about scenic design.

Laura Roberts ’15: I learned how to operate sound and light board, which are great technical skills to have. Working with the director has also been invaluable experience. He is a professional actor and director, which made him a very good professor.

Seth Langer ’13: It is exciting to think that this play may be a first exposure to Shakespeare, maybe even theatre, for some of the audience members, and I am proud to be part of their experience.

OU Blog: Was Shakespeare a challenge?

O’Reilly: Shakespeare is a difficult material and the language presents a challenge. I am very proud of the achievements of the students. They worked very hard and even spent the summer studying their lines. We gave them the scripts back in May and they came back prepared to work. I am proud to have directed this play, worked with them and to have the Georgia Shakespeare’s name on this production.

Langer: Shakespeare is a lot of fun. It is a challenge but it is also very rewarding at the end. Allen O’Reilly has been amazing as a director and in helping us tackle Shakespeare. It is a challenge but it is not intimidating. I have been able to relate it what we have covered in CORE, and also understand the context of the play better because of CORE. As every OU student knows, CORE relates to everything in life.

OU Blog: Students keep saying how much they have learned from you as a director, Mr. O’Reilly. Would you say they taught you something, too?

O’Reilly: Indeed they did. They met and exceeded my expectations. I hope that my peers will come and see the play and see for themselves that students can be just as prepared as professional actors. They took directions very well and were always ready to take notes. Count on students to have pen and paper handy. This is something professional actors can learn from students.

OU Blog: Why should people come and see the play?

O’Reilly: Shakespeare is better appreciated and understood when on stage—not on paper. His work was made to be performed. This play is geared toward students, to help them understand Shakespeare and take the intimidation out of the equation. Our audience will get to experience the emotions, movement, music and passion that is Shakespeare. Every actor has their shining moment in this play, but at the end of the day it is about showing their work and what they are capable of.

Kristin Butler ’14: This is my first Shakespeare experience as an actress and I now understand the difference between reading Shakespeare and seeing it come to life. There is no comparison. Continue reading

Will & Drive: One OU Student’s Comeback Story

In this CNN video report, Will Carter ’12 demonstrates how an electronic device has enabled him to drive again after a brain injury.

Like many Oglethorpe students, Will Carter ’12 has found “his place” over the past three years, carving out his niche in theatre and slowly making a name for himself in Atlanta’s crowd of amateur stand-up comics.  But unlike most others, Will has had to overcome remarkable odds to get here, a story that he tells with pride on the CNN Health blog this week.

The rising senior and award-winning playwright has always enjoyed the performing arts, and as a youngster he enjoyed watching comedians perform on stage.

“I have always been a kid who loves to make people laugh,” recalls Will.  “I would watch a lot of stand-up when I was younger…when Toy Story first came out, I quoted it constantly just to make people laugh.”

But at age 17, Will was involved in a head-on car accident that left him with a severe brain injury and a long road to recovery ahead.  The once highly confident high school student had become wheelchair bound, he’d lost his ability to drive, and tasks that once came easy to him, like studying, took more focus and concentration than ever before. Continue reading

OU Theatre Students In the Spotlight On and Off Stage

Rising senior Elizabeth Lanier greets a young fan after a recent Jungle Book performance. Her character, a monkey called Bhopla (pronounced "Bop-la") is a big hit with fans. She also plays Mowgli's mother, Messua.

This summer, Elizabeth Lanier ’12 and Kyle Brumley ’12 have had to wear many hats—literally. As Georgia Shakespeare interns, they have been acting in the company’s summer productions, performing in The Tempest, Antony and Cleopatra, and The Jungle Book, all in repertory through late July. Both Kyle and Elizabeth are the first Georgia Shakespeare Scholars to work as interns during the summer season, and though they may be trainees, their schedules alone suggest that their jobs are the real thing.  

Jungle Book is a blast,” exclaims Elizabeth, who hopes to work as an actor, choreographer, and a costume designer after graduation.  “During the rehearsal period we worked 14-hour days…now that [most] shows are in repertory, we typically do Jungle Book in the morning and then either The Tempest or Antony & Cleopatra at night, plus three shows on Saturday and two on Sunday.  During the day we have been having understudy rehearsals which is another great opportunity for character development.  The internship is 200 percent worth it!” 

Kyle Brumley '12 (center) onstage during the Jungle Book.

But, Elizabeth and Kyle aren’t the only Petrels making their marks in the world of theatre.  Within the past year, several OU theatre students have been awarded exciting professional opportunities.

  • Alexandria Ducksworth, a 2011 graduate, was a member of the Apprentice Company at Horizon Theatre in Atlanta and her play, Tell-Tale Board, was produced in a festival of plays by young playwrights.
  • Weston Manders ’13 and Kyle Brumley ’12 completed prestigious internships at the Alliance Theatre Company in Atlanta.
  • 2011 graduate Britton Buttrill became an Artistic Associate for Pinch ’n’ Ouch Theatre. Check out their edgy current season:
  • Jessica DeMaria ’11, was hired as the Education Coordinator for Horizon Theatre. She also directed The Compleat Wrks of Wllm Shkspr (Abridged) at North Fulton Drama Club. (Ben Silver ’13 performed in this production.) She also works as an Instructor at The Center for Puppetry Arts.
  • Ben Silver ’13 is teaching improv at Camp Barney this summer.

Several students worked with Georgia Shakespeare on various projects, or are a part of GS’s 2011 Summer Season:

  • Danielle Hitchcock ’13 was production manager for the 2011 High School Acting Competition and currently is a Box Office Assistant.
  • Seth Langer ’13 is the Company Manager Assistant and Assistant Stage Manager for The Jungle Book.
  • Ryan Boland ’14 is a Front of House Assistant and Box Office Assistant.
  • Justin Munson ’14 is a Front of House Assistant.
  • Racheal Sharp ’13 is House Manager and Box Office Assistant.
  • Chris Richardson ’14 is a Directing Assistant for The Jungle Book.

Congratulations to these thespian Petrels!

Student Thespians Surprised by Special Guest

Writer Hunter Bell (back row, fourth from the right) poses with surprised Oglethorpe theatre students.

The cast and crew of Oglethorpe’s production of the Broadway musical [title of show] were surprised last weekend when the play’s author popped up in the audience. 

Hunter Bell, the author of the play’s original book, introduced himself to the director and the cast after Saturday night’s show. Bell, who happened to be visiting Atlanta from New York City, heard about OU Theatre’s production and decided to check it out. He was reportedly impressed, saying that he thought  it was one of the best non-New York performances of the play he had ever seen.

The Obie Award-winning and Tony Award-nominated writer and actor spent time after the show speaking with the student-actors, signing programs, and posing for pictures.