Another sold-out Players run

Fall show offers more raunchy pop culture references and bawdy humour

Queen’s Players rehearse on Tuesday in preparation for their eight-show run.
Queen’s Players rehearse on Tuesday in preparation for their eight-show run.
The plot of Players shows can move too quickly for an inebriated audience.
The plot of Players shows can move too quickly for an inebriated audience.

Theatre Preview: Queen's Players: As the Wayne’s World Turns @ Clark Hall Pub Nov. 8 to 11 and 15 to 18

There are a number of things that might define Queen’s University in the eyes of its students. Limestone is certainly a front-runner, and some might bravely identify academic excellence, but one thing consistently draws the Lululemon’d, puffy-vested masses out of their homes in droves: Queen’s Players. This veritable institution has been running three times a year for as long as anyone cares to remember, bringing its brand of raucous, referential debauchery to packed audiences. With show titles such as Passion of the Ice: Crusified>, I’m Sorry Blanket Jackson, I am for Rita McNeil and Dr. Osbourne and the Michael Jacktory, one shouldn’t expect Hamlet—but you should definitely prepare for a laugh-out-loud raunch-fest.

This fall’s production, As The Wayne’s World Turns, is no different. A story of epic struggle, it follows the attempts of a dashing young warrior, Van Wilder, to stage a Queen’s Players show despite constant sabotage by the evil Mr. Rogers. The show’s characters cover a broad spectrum of famous figures, from the Iron Lady of daytime T.V., Susan Lucci, to ex-Mr. Jessica Simpson, Nick Lachey. The jokes are a motley assortment of pop-culture and topical references, bawdy humour and clever one-liners that are certain to warrant a chuckle.

The cast is composed of veterans such as Jim Robinson, and newcomers including Jen Robertson, under the direction of Megan Mackeigan and Carly Heffernan.

“Everyone should see a Players show before they leave Queen’s,” Mackeigan said. “It’s very unique to Queen’s and has to be experienced.”

Mackeigan manages the busy show and rehearsal schedule through “lots of e-mails. It is difficult because the cast are all very busy with school and other things, but rehearsals are fun, so it’s not a hassle to get people to come to rehearsal.”

The attraction to Players from a cast perspective is simple.

“Just witnessing a Players show made me want to be in one,” said Adam Wray.

“With everyone so concerned about what they say and not wanting to offend people from day to day,” said cast veteran Robinson, “it's nice to have a place where you can be as politically incorrect as you want to be and everyone knows you are just having a good time. We’re all human. Or maybe I’m just a bigot?”

“Being in Queen’s Players is the one thing I had to do before I left Queen’s,” said Keith Bennie, who has been part of many other on-campus drama productions.

Just as there’s no shortage of people who want to be involved in the show, there’s stiff competition for the chance to get into the audience—Players is a certified blockbuster on campus, with shows usually selling out in a matter of minutes. Some students even sleep in line the night before Players tickets go on sale.

“I wanted to be in a show where people would line up for hours just to see it,” said cast member Kate Hickey.

While it has become part of the Players canon to consume gratuitous amounts of “social lubricants,” Mackeigan said audience members can definitely enjoy the show sober.

“You’ll certainly be able to hear and understand the lines better. When you’re drunk, you kinda get caught [up] in the whole spirit of the show and miss a lot of the humour. My mom came to see the show and remarked that the crowd was so drunk they couldn’t even hear half the jokes.”

Unfortunately, there are no all-ages nights for this production, and the entire run of shows has sold out. But if you’re lucky enough to be in possession of a ticket to As the Wayne’s World Turns, a night of song and dance awaits you that’ll leave you gasping for air and spilling your drink.

“We live other people’s dreams,” said cast member Shannon Mitchell.

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