LTTE: Penley doesn’t care

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Nov 292007
 
Authors:

Did the Collegian really expect Larry Penley to be at coach Lubick’s press conference?

Dr. Penley doesn’t care about Sonny, the students, the school or the football team. All he cares about is money.

And in response to Nick Hemenway’s article – Dr. Penley would never hire Ditka. Da Coach would take over the whole university. Lets just bring him in as our president.

Kasey Remley

Senior, GUEST student

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Our View: Take advantage of AIDS testing

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Nov 292007
 
Authors:

This Saturday is World Aids Day, and CSU is hosting many events to promote awareness among college students.

There are an estimated 33.2 million people living with HIV in the world; this day has been dedicated to them since 1988, alongside the estimated 2.1 million people who have died from AIDS.

At this university there is free testing in the health center today and vigil in remembrance of all of the lives lost in Colorado due to AIDS tonight at 6 p.m. in the Sunken Lounge. Last night was the first Condom Concoction Competition to promote various forms of contraception.

Another event happening on campus for World AIDS Day is called A Day Without Art. This is a national campaign that began in New York in 1989 to mourn the deaths due to AIDS. On this day, art galleries close their doors, theaters remain silent and hanging art is covered with black cloth.

CSU is participating in A Day Without Art by covering all of the paintings and art pieces in the LSC and the art buildings in black.

As you walk by the covered art throughout campus, think not only about the beauty that is missing, but also about the lives that are lost.

And, please, take advantage of the Northern Colorado Aids Project’s HIV testing in the health center. It’s free and it’s anonymous, so go.

And as always, remember to use a condom if you choose to have sex. Sure, stopping in the moment to fumble through drawers, frantically trying to rip through the package is inconvenient and far from romantic. But the “I have HIV” conversation will definitely kill the mood.

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CSU’s Roberts receives presidential honor

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Nov 292007
 
Authors: Beth Malmskog

Instead of the usual routine of shooting laser beams at Rubidium atoms in his lab, CSU physics professor Dr. Jacob Roberts found himself in Washington D.C. during the first week of November, accepting the Presidential Early Career Award in Science and Engineering from President Bush.

Roberts, as well as Dr. Amy J. Pruden-Bagchi of CSU’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, were among 56 researchers to receive this year’s award, the highest honor that the U.S. government presents to scientists and engineers whose work has shown incredible potential early in their career.

Roberts was recognized for his work’s potential in finding new ways to cool atom gasses. Cold atoms are helpful in measuring precise time, acceleration and gravity. Such cold atoms are used in the atomic clock at the National Institute of Standards in Boulder.

Through the use of lasers, Roberts and his research team have effectively slowed the speed of atoms, thus pulling substances to colder temperatures.

Matt Hamilton, a physics graduate student who works in Roberts’ lab at CSU, said the idea was unusual.

“We don’t expect lasers to be able to cool something,” Hamilton said. “You usually think of a laser as something that burns or heats stuff up, but here we’re using lasers to make something really, really cold. It’s kind of weird.”

Deep space is approximately a million times warmer than the atoms cooled by Roberts and his team. In comparison, the center of the sun is only around 40,000 times hotter than a normal day on earth.

The light used in the laser is important, as only certain colors will slow atoms. Light comes in different frequencies, which a human eye sees as colors. Blue light has a higher frequency than red light. Higher frequency equals higher energy.

Atoms only take in or emit energy in specific amounts, known as quanta. The sizes of these chunks of energy correspond to particular frequencies of light that can affect the atoms.

In Roberts’ lab in the basement of the Engineering Building, he and his team carefully tune the lasers to produce light at frequencies just below what affects the atoms the most. The lasers they use are actually the same type as the ones that CD and DVD players use to read discs.

When a fast-moving atom moves toward the light source, the frequency of the light as the atom receives it is raised. This makes the light “bounce off” the atom, in the process slowing it down a little.

The collisions only make very small changes in the atom’s speed, but they add up, Roberts said.

“You have a bowling ball rolling down the lane, and a ping-pong ball gun,” Roberts said. “Shoot a bunch of ping-pong balls at a bowling ball, well eventually you can actually slow it down and stop it.”

Perhaps even stranger than the cooling process is what happens when the atoms get cold enough. These ultra-cold atoms act like nothing else on earth.

Under normal conditions on Earth, matter exists in one of three states: solid, liquid, or gas. However, scientists have found that this is not the end of the story.

Matter can act differently under extreme conditions. The sun is so hot that the electrons and protons that comprise its atoms separate, creating a sea of swarming ions and electrons called plasma.

On the other end of the spectrum, extremely cold atoms can become what is known as a Bose-Einstein condensate (BEC). In this state, matter shows itself to be a wave. The atoms blend together instead of acting like discrete packets.

To understand why, one needs to invoke the Heisenberg uncertainty principle. The uncertainty principle states that it is impossible to know simultaneously both how an atom is moving and where it is at a given moment.

The key is that when atoms get very cold, they move very slowly.

“If you slow an atom down, you really know what its speed is. That means you start to not know where it is,” Roberts said. “You take a gas of atoms and make them go so slow that the indeterminacy of their position is bigger than the spacing between atoms.”

In this state, the atoms are no longer really distinct.

“You know that you have an atom and an atom, but they overlap each other,” Roberts said.

These BECs behave as waves. If one is broken in half, and the two halves run into each other, they create interference patterns in matter like those made by waves on the surface of water.

BECs were first created in 1995 by a group including Dr. Carl Wieman of the CU-Boulder and Dr. Eric Cornell of the National Institute of Standards. Wieman, Roberts’ Ph.D. advisor, was among several scientists who won the Nobel Prize in 2001 for creating the world’s first BEC.

Roberts’ cooling work could be used to make a BEC at CSU, though that is not his highest priority. There are many interesting physics questions to be answered about laser cooling itself, Roberts said.

Roberts doesn’t spend as much time in the lab as he once did. While he has the option of pursuing a career strictly in research, he chose to work in an academic setting so he could also teach. Roberts said though that he spends some time in the lab each day, it is now his graduate students that log more lab hours.

Anthony Gorges, a graduate student who said he’s been on the project “since lab book one,” spends most of his days in the basement lab.

“It ruins your pale if you go outside,” Gorges said.

However, Gorges retains enthusiasm for science.

“You run into a lot of brick walls but eventually you get there. You figure it out. It’s a lot of fun,” Gorges said. “In the end, it’s just like a giant puzzle.”

Staff Writer Beth Malmskog can be reached at news@collegian.com.

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Condom Concoction spreads AIDS day awareness

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Nov 292007
 
Authors: Edie Adams

For some students, safe sex is simply a matter of “No glove, no love.”

It was the slogan of the first annual Condom Concoction Competition, which took place in the Cherokee Ballroom Thursday night. The demonstration kicked off a series of events this week that commemorate World AIDS Day, which takes place tomorrow.

The Condom Concoction Competition showcased sculptures created by students and organizations around campus, grouped into three categories: clothing, accessories, and visual art. Some sculptures sported witty puns, like “Condominium” and “Condoments”.

Others were simply creations, like the Eiffel Tower, which stood almost 3 feet high. Several prizes were awarded, which included gift certificates to the CSU Bookstore, free meals at local restaurants, and a $100 travel voucher.

The evening offered several other activities to promote awareness. At one particular table, spectators attempted putting condoms on bananas or a wooden penis model, wearing “drunk goggles” while a coordinator quizzed them on the step-by-step checklist of proper procedure.

AIDS displays lined the walls, and a table in the middle of the room featured a big red ribbon, covered in red condoms, with baskets of free condoms and small red ribbons for the taking.

Laura KinCannon, a freshman Spanish major, and her friend Carrie Reilly, a freshman Open Option major, stumbled upon a flyer for the contest while making a visit to the Wellness Zone in the Lory Student Center.

“We go there every Friday to see the free stuff they have,” KinCannon said.

They decided to enter for fun-and for the prizes. They grabbed some free condoms for the contest, and set to work.

“At first, we were going to do suspenders, and then we thought, hey, what about a stoplight?” Reilly said.

The result of their efforts, a “stoplight” dress, showed off three circles of red, yellow, and green condoms framed in a black rectangle.

This competition was a part of a series of events leading up to World AIDS Day.

“The competition is a creative outlet, but it is also meant to bring awareness to safer sex practices, HIV/AIDS and STIs,” said Shauna DeLuca, the leader of the World AIDS Day group.

Although World AIDS Day is tomorrow, most of the activities at CSU are taking place today. “A Day Without Art” is being recognized in buildings on campus, a tradition that was started in 1988 by arts professionals across the country.

“So many people in the art community had died from this disease that they wanted to make the world aware of it. What would the world be like without any art?” said Kalert.

Other events are taking place in the Lory Student center all day. From 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. in the Wellness Zone, students can go in for a free and confidential HIV test, receiving their results in about 10 minutes.

At 6 p.m. in the Sunken Art Lounge, local speakers and students will discuss the impact AIDS has had in the local and global community. This will be immediately followed by a candlelit vigil outside.

At 7:30 p.m. in the LSC Theatre, “A Closer Walk” will be screened. The film examines the struggle against AIDS through personal interviews with victims of the diseases in countries all over the world.

Students who wish to know more about HIV/AIDS can find information all around campus, including Hartshorn Health Center, the Wellness Zone, and the GLBT office.

Staff Writer Edie Adams can be reached at news@collegian.com

BREAKOUT BOX

Winners:

Clothing: “Dress” by Laura KinCannon and Carrie Reilly

Visual Art, 1st place: “Eiffel Tower” by STA Travel

Accessories, 1st place: “Earrings/Necklace” by Martha Denney

Most Creative: “Picnic” by The Wellness Zone

Most Original: “Mobile” by GLBTSS

Best Overall: “CSU Ram” by Tim LeBlanc

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CSU students take on global warming

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Nov 292007
 
Authors: Cece Wildeman

A group of 12 CSU students and faculty members is one of many small clubs across the country participating in a national movement to launch a two-day educational program about global warming on Jan. 30 and 31.

Focus the Nation, an organization committed to informing people about global warming, has recruited more than 1,000 institutions to participate in the event.

For the CSU chapter of Focus the Nation, the planning is still in its early stages. So far, the event plans include a Web cast that will be shown simultaneously at all of the participating locations, a series of short talks, two longer talks, various hands-on activities and a political forum.

Universities across the nation are collaborating forces the same weekend to promote climate change awareness.

“Doing this gives me a sense of community and collaboration,” said Katie Shapiro an English graduate student and group member. “The energy (that comes from planning the event) is great too.”

The group will discuss topics ranging from environmental ethics, individual carbon contribution, climate change and its effects on forests and making construction more environmentally friendly.

The plans will need to be near complete as Christmas break approaches, said Sue Ellen Campbell, an English professor and one of the event coordinators.

By the time school resumes Campbell and her colleagues expect that the event plans will only need a bit of fine-tuning.

While the CSU group said that their goal is to bring more awareness to students and involve faculty, as well as the community, the national goal is to make sure elected officials know about the event.

The larger goal of Focus the Nation is to bring awareness of global warming and offer solutions.

“This is basically a concentrated version of what’s necessary over the next 5 to 10 years,” said John Calderazzo, an English professor and one of the coordinators of the event.

For Calderazzo it is extremely gratifying that faculty members want to participate, while Campbell enjoys working with the students who are involved.

“The fun part has been getting to meet these lively, engaged students who have been putting in the time,” Campbell said.

Other colleges involved with Focus the Nation include CU Boulder, Metro State, Denver University, CU Colorado Springs and Colorado School of Mines.

Senior Reporter Cece Wildeman can be reached at news@collegian.com.

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STD reports at CSU down

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Nov 292007
 
Authors: Andy Dose

Despite an overall national increase in STD cases, studies show that numbers of reports of student cases at CSU remained consistent amid the national rise.

University and Center for Disease Control (CDC) officials say that although recent years have shown an increase in STDs, this could be due to more transparency stemming from the use of better testing techniques and equipment.

But that while better testing is being practiced at CSU, the numbers might not reflect reality because some students choose other health centers and many others don’t even bother getting tested, said Catherine Elliot, a graduate research assistant with Hartshorn Heath Center.

Debra Morris, director of Health Promotion at CSU said male students in general seek less health care than women at CSU.

“In . 2006, 58 percent of the visits for care at the health center were by females,” Morris said in an email.

University publications show that this year’s number of reports of most STDs fell or remained consistent with last year.

According to American College Health Association surveys of about 1000 students in 2006 and 2007, the only increase at CSU was in Gonorrhea //– up to six from three cases last year.

The increase in reports of Gonorrhea at CSU did not include a new antibiotic-resistant strain prevalent within the nationally rising STD rate, Morris said.

The new strain is a concern the Center for Disease Control (CDC) reports has steadily increased in the U.S. for nearly two decades.

In contrast with the rise of Gonorrhea, other common STD cases show decreasing or unchanging patterns at CSU. Human Papillomavirus (HPV) and Chlamydia, decreased by five and three cases, respectively.

Genital Herpes, however increased from five cases to seven cases from 2005 to 2006 and leveled off this year and Pelvic Inflammatory Disease is up four cases from 2005.

Two cases of HIV were reported, down from three last year.

Hartshorn Director Stephen Blom said students can prevent STDs by being aware of and utilizing resources the health center is committed to providing.

“To get resources, it comes from the student health fee,” Blom said. “There’s no charge for a visit to health centers for testing. Money shouldn’t be a part of the decision (to get tested).”

The health center provides condoms, information packets, awareness programs, testing diagnosis and treatment all paid for by student fees.

While studies show that STD cases at CSU have declined, Hartshorn Health Clinic is committed to reducing STDs and increasing awareness at CSU.

“Prevention, prevention, prevention,” Morris said is the solution required for better sexual health.

CSU received a C on this year’s Trojan Sexual Health Report Card, which grades universities on a variety of topics, from condom availability to HIV and STD testing. The university took 23rd place on a list of 100 peer institutions.

Brigham Young University and the University of Notre Dame failed across the board, placing them in the two last slots on the list.

Yale University, in first place, was the only institution to earn a perfect score.

Staff Writer Andy Dose can be reached at news@collegian.com.

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Disappointing ending ruins ‘Mist’

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Nov 282007
 
Authors: Jeff Schwartz

Is it fair to judge a movie based solely on its ending?

My inner-critic tells me no, a movie should be evaluated holistically. But there is something so irresistible about praising or condemning a movie because of its ending.

Endings like the ones in “The Sixth Sense” or “Memento” can make you rethink and redefine an entire movie. But the ending for “The Mist” made me want to throw something at the screen. The ending of “The Mist” not only derails an otherwise-decent horror film, but it reeks of nihilism and melodrama.

So, while I will try to be fair to “The Mist” in my review, my feelings about the entire film are undeniably influenced by my disappointment with the last 10 minutes.

Like the Stephen King novella on which it is based, “The Mist” is about a group of people who become stuck in a supermarket after a supernatural mist envelops their Maine town.

Aside from being disorienting, the mist itself isn’t that scary or dangerous.

However, there are creatures lurking in the mist – creatures that are hungry, toothy and tentacled. And slowly, these creatures start to make mincemeat out of the supermarket’s more skeptical occupants who decide to venture out into the mist and seek help.

A good chunk of the movie is devoted to exploring the different ways humans react to situations of extreme stress and violence.

On one side, we have the film’s heroes – David (Thomas Jane), his son Billy (Nathan Gamble), Amanda (Laurie Holden) and a supermarket clerk named Ollie (Toby Jones).

David & Co. are scared out of their wits, but they try their best to remain calm and rational under the circumstances. However, David’s group is opposed by Mrs. Carmondy (Marcia Gay Harden) and her ever-growing flock of religious fanatics, who are all dead-set on performing a human sacrifice to appease the wrath of God.

This dichotomy between rationalism and fanaticism is compelling, but the film gives too much screen-time to Carmondy’s screeds against the impure and the unrepentant. Instead of her character being silver-tongued and malicious as she is in King’s story, here she is simply malicious.

One of the most frustrating things about “The Mist” is that it does contain moments of genuine suspense, including a terrifying scene where the supermarket-dwellers try helplessly and chaotically to kill a creature that has made its way into the store.

However, in between such scenes are too many moments of aggravating speeches by Mrs. Carmondy and too many conversations between David and his allies where the dialogue seems an awkward fit in the actors’ mouths.

And then there’s that ending. The last word in King’s story is “hope.”

The last image in “The Mist” makes the whole thing seem like a pitiless cosmic prank.

Entertainment writer Jeff Schwartz can be reached at verve@collegian.com.

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‘Last Call’ evocative short stories

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Nov 282007
 
Authors: Griffin Faust

Not everything ends happy and anyone can attest to that. Even in life, love, family and community nothing seems to be exactly as good as it sounds.

“How funny, being alive .” is a relevant and popular theme most new writers, I feel, are using in beginning a career publishing stories and books. Differentiated from the usual crowd of commentary writers, however, is a truly exploratory voice that is clean and grounded in familiarity. Local writer Blair Oliver manifests excellent style and complex themes together in his new book “Last Call.”

My favorite story is the book’s debut, titled “Precious Metals,” about a misunderstood boy and his friend travelling to the roller rink. At the roller rink, girls are waiting for a blind date.

Mounting is the boy’s mentality of inadequacy and dubious protocol of an enjoyable skating date. Dramatic effect swells as we the readers are kept curious of the boy’s interactions with people close to him, particularly his own parents.

Throughout the nine stories that culminate this book, I very much liked the neorealist approach in plot structure and development, returning to the commonplace of family and little nuisances that go unnoticed but actually make up much of what life really is. The details are precise and developed the character’s story in an interesting, external way.

I think the most telling factor that this is an accomplished author is the way Oliver’s stories are written with an undeniable and different kind of wit. Nothing that can be pinpointed, unfortunately, but Oliver has a sense of identifying loud behavior that usually goes unseen.

The characters possess an astuteness that isn’t traditionally thought of as intelligent, but they are keenly sensitive to behavior and tension filling the room.

It is this sensitivity in Oliver’s writing that makes me conjecture my own sense of perception. In more than just fluidly laconic prose, the author frames the stories in such a way the end is really just a beginning. I have always enjoyed the open-ended narratives, because few things in life end neatly packaged with a bow.

Staff writer Griffin Faust can be reached at verve@collegian.com.

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‘Apologize’ may prove to be OneRepublic’s only hit

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Nov 282007
 
Authors: Nick Scheidies

OneRepublic – they’re the type of band that you may not have heard of, but you have almost certainly heard.

Since the beginning of the month, their debut single “Apologize” has been dominating the airwaves via contemporary rock stations around the world. The single features ominous cello, an undeniable beat and the type of hook that most pop artists only dream of.

If none of that rings a bell, it’s that song where the guy wails, “it’s too late to ‘pologize, it’s too la-a-a-a-ate!”

The band also just so happens to hail from Colorado Springs. Considering OneRepublic shares a strong sonic similarity with Denver rockers The Fray, it would appear Colorado has a knack for producing earnest, piano-centric moderate-rock bands that know how to climb the Billboard charts.

Now OneRepublic is looking to match the success of “Apologize” with their first full length album, “Dreaming Out Loud.” Unfortunately, the album never manages to live up to that infectious lead single. Instead, OneRepublic’s debut is teeming with underdeveloped, overproduced rock songs that fail to leave a lasting impression on the listener.

But it isn’t all bad. Frontman Ryan Tedder is blessed with impressive vocal range and a clean, appealing timbre. His work on the piano drives the songs forward and provides an adequate foundation on which the band’s four other instrumentalists can build.

That includes guitarists who adorn the album with layers of clean electric guitar, acoustic guitar, digitally effected guitar and even slide guitar.

Meanwhile, their bassist frequently sets aside his bass in favor of another, more bohemian four-stringed instrument: the cello. The rhythm section is rounded out by percussion that oscillates between hip-hop beats and standard rock drumming.

All of this is ornamented with occasional bursts of synthesizer and other electronic flourishes. With such an admirably eclectic assortment of instruments and sounds, it should be safe to assume that OneRepublic has achieved a degree of freshness and individuality with their music. But all of the instruments in the world can’t save the album from its too-safe songs and their predictable structures.

Maybe “Dreaming Out Loud” would be tolerable if the lyrics weren’t just as uninspired. In case the album title didn’t already hint at the band’s unhealthy affection for weak, corny metaphors, Tedder provides us with lines like, “I need you like a heart needs a beat.”

Still, this is standard fare in the spectrum of modern rock and the fact is that OneRepublic’s songs manage to be consistently listenable and enjoyable.

But therein lies the music’s biggest flaw: it’s too streamlined. OneRepublic sacrifices raw, organic energy for a sound with about as much edge as a rubber ball.

So if you’re looking for pleasant, by-the-numbers piano rock, “Dreaming Out Loud” might be worth a listen. Otherwise, you would probably be better off just turning on the radio and singing along to “Apologize.”

Entertainment writer Nick Scheidies can be reached at verve@collegian.com.

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CSU theatre gets locked up

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Nov 282007
 
Authors: Maggie Canty

CSU brings a play that may cause some audience members to squirt a couple tears and others to wholeheartedly laugh out loud.

But this show may also encourage more than one audience member to do something rather unexpected.

It might motivate a few to vote.

“The Night Thoreau Spent in Jail,” presented by CSU Theatre and directed by Dr. Laura Jones, opens tonight in the University Theatre at 8 p.m.

Written by Robert Edwin Lee and Jerome Lawrence in response to the Vietnam War and Civil Rights movement, the play explores issues facing America in the mid-19th century through the eyes of author, poet and philosopher Henry David Thoreau.

His views on environmentalism, war and government, seen through flash backs and flash-forwards, force the audience to recognize issues facing the United States today, including global warming and the war in Iraq.

“It’s very historical, but the playwrights were interested in exploring the life of Thoreau to comment on the present,” said director Laura Jones, an associate professor of theater.

Jones said the play portrays Thoreau as a young Harvard graduate and takes place over the single night he spent in jail after protesting the Mexican-American War by refusing to pay taxes.

“It’s hard to summarize because the play is not linear,” she said. “It’s very expressionistic, episodic and theatrical. It flows in and out of memory and time, but all comes together at the end.”

Lucas Sweet, a junior theater major, is cast as Thoreau. He has been acting for almost 10 years.

“The message is what really stands out,” he said. “It hits on important issues and is much timelier than other plays.”

It should appeal to college students, Jones said, because of the age of Thoreau in the play and the choices he faces.

“The play raises questions people are dealing with like ‘What will I do when I graduate?’ and choices about marriage, religion and a belief system,” she said. “The audience will have something to think about, and be able to (sympathize) with the protagonist.”

Professor Bruce Ronda, a Thoreau historian and chair of the department of English, said in an e-mail interview that the play accurately portrays one aspect of Thoreau’s life – his rebelliousness against what he considered unjust authority.

“Even though it was written in response to the particular circumstances of the 1960s and 70s, it still has meaning for us today,” he said. “It still raises uncomfortable questions about our individual responses to social discrimination, injustice, war, violence and consumerism, and our responsibility for living in accordance with the values we profess.”

Sweet, who started rehearsing with the cast nearly two months ago, believes his own personality mirrors Thoreau’s on many levels.

“There’s a lot of similarities between us,” Sweet said. “We both are outspoken and have a passion. We love people and desire to teach.”

Despite these similarities, portraying Thoreau has been far from easy, he said.

Sweet is in all of the 26 scenes in the approximately two hour long play, including a dream sequence with little dialogue, forcing the actor to delve into Thoreau’s character without the aid of words.

“It’s been a group effort,” he said. “Every scene is really about interaction. The entire cast works well together.”

The cast’s chemistry has not come by chance. Sweet and on-stage brother Quentin Schroeder, a senior theater and computer science double major, have developed a relationship off stage to make their performance more natural.

“We’ve intentionally tried to hang out to build chemistry and a relationship,” said Schroeder, who was 13 when he did his first show. “He (Sweet) is a really great guy, and now there’s no faking involved.”

The two work together in several scenes, including a play-wrestling match so realistic the audience may expect a referee to break it up.

But it’s not just the cast that makes the play work. Because the play is constantly moving through space and time, it requires a talented stage crew, set and light designers to pull off smoothly.

“The set has an organic feel, reflecting the naturalism,” said stage manager and assistant director Faith Harbert, a theater major, of the upside down abstract trees that make up the play’s background. “The gray and white back drops create a world of Thoreau that is simple and elegant.”

And simple is exactly right. The play has minimal set pieces, including a fence that doubles as a bridge and boardwalk.

The scene is instead set with a combination of lighting effects and costumes that make the play move through each scene realistically.

Jones hopes the journey of “self-awareness” that Thoreau travels throughout the show will encourage audiences to think about current events for themselves.

“My belief is that art’s purpose shouldn’t be to provide answers, but raise important questions,” she said. “A lot of times we don’t think about our actions or our inactions.”

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