Unless you have a friend in Alpha Psi Omega or have seen one of the, um, uniquely photo shopped posters hanging around campus, chances are you have never heard of Guerrilla Theatre. What exactly is that, you’re asking? It is a ten act cabaret and each act has ten minutes to perform whatever they want, as long as there is no full frontal nudity or animal sacrifice. Scenes about what? That is the surprise, no one knows! The acts change for each show and anyone can sign up to perform whatever they want. It could be a song, dance, acting, instrumentals, poetry, or a combination of all of the above! Why does this happen, you’re asking now? It gives UA students an opportunity to express themselves in whichever medium they choose. Fun fact, Guerrilla Theatre was founded by Alabama’s chapter of the theatre honors society Alpha Psi Omega, making it extra special and unique to our campus. It’s held in the Allen Bales Theatre in Rowand-Johnson Hall, and is definitely worth experiencing before graduating. But before you go, here are important things to know…
Get there early or be disappointed.
The open the doors to the theatre at 10:30 pm, but you do NOT want to get there at 10:30. When they say that it is going to sell out, they are not exaggerating. The AB seats about 140 people and around 200 people wait in line on average, so you don’t want to be one of those people in the back of the line that gets all the way to the front just to have the door shut on them.
It’s the cheapest fun you’ll ever have.
With just a suggested donation of $2 for admission, there is literally nothing cheaper for the amount of fun you will have. Even Taco Bell is more expensive, and that’s saying something. What’s even better is that since APO is a non-profit, all money collected from the night will be donated to the West Alabama AIDS Outreach. Fun AND helping a charity? You really can’t go wrong with that.
Don’t be surprised when you see outrageous costumes.
Each Guerrilla Theatre is defined by a theme for the night that guides how people dress. Past themes include: The Guerrilla Who Stole Christmas, F. Scott FitzGuerrilla, and Guerrilla Is Such a DRAG (the infamous drag show). While it is not required, dressing up is more than welcome. Besides, who doesn’t love a chance to pretend it is Halloween?
Pack tissues because you might cry.
Whether it is from laughing or having your heart broken, it is almost a guarantee that something will make your eyes water. It can come from one of the horribly cheesy puns used in the tweeners (little bits in between each act, performed by APO’s President and Vice President), a ridiculous act that you can’t help laughing out loud at, or a heart wrenching scene that makes you want to get on stage and give them a hug because it’s just so sad (it’s okay, we’ve all been there). Either way, embrace the tears; you won’t be the only one connecting with the show.
It’s going to feel like home.
You never know what you’re going to watch at Guerrilla Theatre. There are the general scenes or songs, or someone could get up there and read Nicki Minaj’s “Anaconda” lyrics in a Kermit the Frog voice (which has actually happened before). No matter what happens, you’re still experiencing it with everyone else sitting in the audience. You’re laughing and crying just like them, and bonding with them. You could turn to a random person sitting near you and talk about what you just watched, and you will have just made a new friend. There are no strangers at Guerrilla Theatre, just friends you haven’t met yet. Plus Dixieland Delight and Sweet Home Alabama are played at some point during the night, and nothing brings people together like reminiscing about the glorious football season.
It’s hard to capture the essence of such a unique event in so many words. I can convey the gist of it, but you won’t truly understand until you experience Guerrilla Theatre for yourself. That being said, there really is no downside to trying it out so get to it!