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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at JCU chapter.

Some of my proudest and most memorable moments at JCU have been on the stage of the Marinello Little Theatre. It’s a place where magic happens. The actors work for weeks exposing their creative talents to one another, building friendships and preparing for the show. This all leads up to the weekend the audience of friends and family and theater lovers from all over come to congregate for a single moment, one hour, to witness the magic that happens in the room. Performance brings actors and audience together, and then we walk away from the moment left with an experience we will remember forever.

“Jesuspalooza” he says, “I have written a script titled Jesuspalooza and it’s a mystical show, it’s really a fun show and auditions are this week.” These are the words that came from my dear friend Jack Connelly (senior and Creative Writing major at JCU). When your evil genius friend says he’s written a play about Jesus and is going to direct it too, what are you to do except audition? I was all in, I knew Jack had a wacky plan in store and I couldn’t wait to be a part of it. So, I saddled up and got ready to experience the chaos and magic of Jesuspalooza.

Chaos and magic, two of the elements every person in the cast knew how to bring to the table, and I mean we really brought it. Rehearsals started and we’re all excited to become friends and see what the other could do. No one held back even from the start and that is one of my favorite things about theatre people, they can’t be tamed. We were having a blast every rehearsal. Every week a new friendship was made, a new scene made us laugh until we peed, and Jack Connelly as our ringleader made the whole thing even more hilarious and mystical. The story was great and we were thrilled to be the ones delivering it. 

The cast got tight pretty quickly, we all made really fast friends. This was a blessing and a curse. We were so excited and filled with high spirits when we came to rehearsals, we couldn’t wait to goof off and make each other laugh. This was our destruction, we became little giggling trolls that told inappropriate jokes and shared memes backstage when we were supposed to be focused and paying attention to our leader, Jack. Jack is just like all of us, a mischievous giggling troll, in fact, he may be the biggest troll of all. This is what got us into trouble a lot of times in rehearsal. We all wanted to just goof off and be obnoxious and Jack wanted us to be able to do that and get work done at the same time. The hardest part of Jesuspalooza was definitely finding a balance between goofing off and focusing on the show. It was helpful when we channeled our chaotic energy into the content we were making, this is part of what made the show so special. We were all bringing the friendships and inside jokes, we made with each other into our characters and moments on stage.

Though it took a lot of effort from Jack, the cast, and our savior (stage manager) Sophia Maltese, we were able to reign in our eccentric personalities and evil giggles and put on a wonderful show. Performance week was a week that I will keep in my back pocket of memories forever. This was the week where all hearts were in it, and the show really started to come to life.

We were all getting so excited to have our friends and family come witness the bizarre shenanigans that we all worked so hard on. We were also so honored and excited to be delivering Jack’s story, he put his whole heart into this and he deserved a magical performance. We could not wait to support our friend and have a great time alongside each other on stage, for real this time. 

The lights went down, and they came up. The giggles radiated from the audience to backstage, and I could not wait to go out there and add my piece to the performance. It was such a rush! So much life and joy radiating from the stage to the audience and bouncing back to us on stage again. The energy was vibrant and the moment was magical. Now, one day when our dear friend Jack is rich and famous, I get to say I acted in his very first original production of Jesuspalooza.

major twihard.