'Don't have to be hammered'

For the final installment of this year’s Players, the group talks University problems, crabs and that infamous video

’Til Death Star Do Us Part is the final show of the 2012 Queen’s Players triad and in true Players style it doesn’t only entertain — it takes a stance. This show addresses a wide range of subject matter, from evil plans to tenured professors to the economical struggles of student life and the accompanying exploitation of universities as a whole. And, of course, crabs.

Co-director and co-scriptwriter Fletcher Planert defends his passionate position, which inspired him to write the script in the first place.

“Considering the University is so pressed for money these days, it seems odd that we have a position dedicated to keeping people forever who may need to be re-evaluated,” Planert said, in reference to tenured professors. “It’s not a Queen’s problem; it’s a university, academia problem.”

Never one to be shy from controversy, Players started addressing hot-button issues like these earlier in the year with their collection of YouTube videos. Amongst them is the infamous viral video I Go To Queen’s, which captures a satirical look at university life in a spoof of the Everest commercials. The video has over 117,000 views on Youtube.

From a multimedia perspective, this is only the first step in the evolution of Players.

“It can be tempting to recreate the success of [I Go To Queen’s] but ... the only way to really tap into people is not to try, it’s to do what you believe in and hopefully it catches on,” Daniel Gold, media and marketing manager of the QP executive board said.

This year has seen several major changes for Queen’s Players, and Death Star is the truly unique final product. Combining characters from world-famous franchises including Batman, Harry Potter and Star Wars, this year’s winter show had a pre-written script rather than one written by the group as a whole. Cast and crew agree that there are many advantages.

“The comedy in the show is smart and hilarious,” Players alumnus Shelby Marco said. “It’s cohesive and put-together, whereas other scripts were more vignette-like.”

Indeed the entire feel of Players differs from all shows in recent memory because more focus is put on producing a show that can be enjoyed by the sober and inebriated alike.

“I hope people take away from the show that you don’t actually have to drink,” rookie cast member Patrick Downes said. “It’s a fun show, it’s a hilarious show ... you don’t have to be hammered off your face to enjoy it.”

Beyond the script and drinking alterations, one noticeable improvement is the quality of the music overall. Vocal director Edward Larocque delivers arrangements one might not expect from a Players show.

“We were really looking for a song that worked best for the singer,” he said. “For the group numbers, we had two vocal rehearsals a week, each two hours long.” The extra work is obvious: audiences can look forward to a mind-blowing acapella performance that serves as a highlight of the show and a moment which showcases both the individual talent and the cohesion of the multifaceted cast.

Players’ ’Til Death Star Do Us Part will conclude its run tonight and tomorrow at 8 p.m. at Time to Laugh Comedy Club. Tickets are $13.

All final editorial decisions are made by the Editor(s)-in-Chief and/or the Managing Editor. Authors should not be contacted, targeted, or harassed under any circumstances. If you have any grievances with this article, please direct your comments to journal_editors@ams.queensu.ca.

When commenting, be considerate and respectful of writers and fellow commenters. Try to stay on topic. Spam and comments that are hateful or discriminatory will be deleted. Our full commenting policy can be read here.