Huron University College has a case of HUDS

Undergraduate drama society focuses on sketch comedy

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009


What does Huron University College have that the other campuses lack? The Huron Underground Dramatic Society, a student theatre group unique to the college.

“Over the years [HUDS] has taken many forms " from Shakespeare to musicals, to modern drama to its current incarnation, sketch comedy,” Kati Aubin, one of HUDS’ current producers, says.

Aubin and fellow producers Will Nicholson and Kara Steyn are currently preparing for their upcoming show Sense and Insensitivity, which is set to take place at the end of this month. The production showcases an array of original student comedy skits.

Until now only Huron students may have known of the club’s existence, but in fact membership is open to anyone at Western.

“Anyone can get involved, even main campus students,” Steyn says. “You don’t really need acting experience, but it always helps. One should at least enjoy performing in front of others.”

“[HUDS] is a club ... although we demand a bit more commitment than some of the others once you join,” Nicholson adds.

HUDS organizes two productions throughout the year and the pieces are written, produced and performed by its members.

“We try to write as much as possible, so we can pick and choose the ones that will work well together. We try to keep things fresh,” Nicholson says.

The skit topics range from everyday scenarios to the offensive to the downright outrageous " poking fun at religion, politics and fellow Huron club, GetLit.

“People take the shows too seriously sometimes, but they’re all put on with good intentions,” Steyn says.

Though the subject matter may be rough around the edges, HUDS has heart; the group donated all the proceeds from November’s Live Free or DieHUDS show to the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

Though a student organization, the players face some of the same pressures and expectations felt by industry professionals.

“The hardest part about putting on a show has to be wondering if people will laugh, because if people don’t laugh, you’re dead in the water,” Aubin says. “All three of us were like fathers pacing outside the delivery room before our first show [as producers] " it’s ridiculous how attached you get.”

But when the curtains are down and the crowd is tickled, HUDS really comes down to being about the arts.

“HUDS is a prime example of the fine arts flourishing at Western,” Aubin says. “It allows budding writers to hone their craft with a stage that is receptive to their fledgling ways, but it also demands excellence and forces them to think in better and more creative ways.”

HUDS’ upcoming production, Sense and Insensitivity, runs Friday, March 28 and Saturday, March 29 at 8 p.m. both nights in room V214 of Huron University College. Entry is $5 at the door with proceeds going to the Canadian Cancer Society.

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