By Erica Dunigan
Staff reporter

Prospective students typically tour campus, meet a faculty member, eat in the café, and meet with an admission counselor. Sometimes though prospective students get to explore a little bit more of what Southwestern offers.

A performing arts day will make for a busy time filled with events for all prospective students.  Allyson Moon, professor of theatre, said, “This is the second year that we have combined for a Performing Arts day. Last year was our first. On Nov. 19 from noon on, prospective students will be at Southwestern working with Professor James Leach and students in jazz, and then in theatre there will be actors here working on improvisational acting.”

The students will get to expand their knowledge of jazz, and enjoy a jazz concert later on in the day.

James Leach, professor of music, said, “We will work with many different students that play different instruments that pertain to jazz. The combo that will play later during the day contains piano, bass, drums, guitar, trumpet, flugelhorn, and tenor saxophone.”

Not only do incoming students have the option to expand their knowledge of jazz, but students have the option to explore improvisational acting. Marilyn Craft, theatre senior, said, “Improv acting is something I thought I would be able to do. It’s so much fun. I wanted to become part of 9 Lives because I wanted to break out of my shell. It will be nice to share 9 Lives with prospective students, and help them expand their talent in Improv.”

A night filled with music and laughs brings the students and community together. “That evening we will have jazz entertainment, and improv entertainment combined together. The show will be held at 6:30 p.m. in Messenger. It will be great entertainment for family and college students. The show will still be entertaining for the college students, even though it says community on the flyers,” said Moon.

This show will be one of the biggest performances of the year for Jazz Combo and 9 Lives. Leach said, “It was an overflow house last year. Jazz combined with improvisational acting make for a great night. Improvisation makes jazz most interesting as the players invent melodies on the spot, it’s like instant composition.”

Not only have the students in music and theatre prepared a great show, but the stage craft will contribute a lot to the performance. Tanner Seidel, music performance sophomore, said, “The performances and stage show has come a long way this year. The music is great and the improve performance will be good also, but the stage show is very entertaining as well and allows us to connect with the audience in ways we haven’t before.”

Moon said, “The audience needs to bring objects, and crazy, crazy props. They will have an opportunity to write lines and contribute to the development of the dialogue for the show. But, the most important thing is to be ready for a night filled with great music and a lot of laughs.”

Erica Dunigan is a junior majoring in professional communication. You may e-mail her at

erica.dunigan@sckans.edu.