If producing a different play almost every single weekend of the academic year sounds crazy, just wait until you meet the members of No Refund Theatre.
More commonly known as NRT, this inclusive theatre club is committed to providing performing opportunities to students of all majors. Each semester, the club produces 8-10 entirely student-run performances in a wide variety of genres.
PAC got the inside scoop on the organization from NRT’s current president, senior film and video major Julie Whelan.
“No Refund Theatre is a community of friends coming together to make really cool art,” said Whelan. “We believe that all students, regardless of major, should have the chance to get involved with theatre on the Penn State campus, so we try our best to provide as many opportunities as possible.”
For many NRT members, the club serves as a creative outlet and an opportunity to collaborate with fellow creative-minded individuals to produce a meaningful piece of theatre.
“We are entirely student-run, so there is a lot of artistic freedom that comes along with putting on an NRT show,” said Whelan. “It’s a really cool moment to see the final product come together and think, ‘We did that. Every single part of that was created by us.’”
NRT prides itself on providing opportunities for students to contribute to all areas of a production, including acting, directing, and more.
“Personally, I’ve participated in aspects such as acting, tech, and directing,” said Whelan.
NRT has already completed two shows so far this semester, and next in the lineup is Deathtrap, directed by Sam Phillips. The show will run from September 28-30 at 8 p.m. in 111 Forum, and admission is completely free. To see what else is coming up for NRT this semester, check out their calendar at norefundtheatre.weebly.com/fall-2017-lineup.html.
So, what if you really want to be involved with NRT, but you’re already crazy-busy with a million other things? Not to worry.
“NRT is great because you can really participate as much or as little as you want and still be considered a member,” said Whelan. “Some people choose to stick with doing one show a semester, and there are some crazies who do a lot more than that, bless their hearts.”
If NRT sounds like your cup of tea, here’s how you can get involved.
“The easiest way someone can get involved with NRT is to come see our shows!” said Whelan. “They’re free and really frickin’ good, so I’d suggest it. If you’re looking to get involved with the acting side of things, we have two rounds of auditions a semester. The best way to hear about all upcoming auditions and other events is to like us on Facebook at facebook.com/NoRefundTheatre/ or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.”
For a lot of members, NRT has provided opportunities that extend beyond the stage.
“Through my three, going on four, years of being a part of NRT, I’ve learned so much more than just how to direct a great show or deliver a solid monologue,” said Whelan. “I’ve learned how to be a better listener, I’ve learned how to be a better friend, and I’ve learned how to be a better leader, just to name a few. Our members can take what they learn from this goofy club and apply it to the real world, which is really frickin’ cool to me.”