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Ball State Students Raise Money for Department Scholarships

Ball State's Department of Theatre and Dance put on the play "White Rabbit, Red Rabbit" on Jan. 24, 2020 in Sursa Performance Hall.
Ball State's Department of Theatre and Dance put on the play "White Rabbit, Red Rabbit" on Jan. 24, 2020 in Sursa Performance Hall.

MUNCIE, Ind.(NewsLink) - As Ball State is expanding, funding for university departments is decreasing. Some students of Ball State’s Department of Theatre and Dance (DOTD) decided to take matters into their own hands on Friday, Jan. 24 by throwing a benefit show for the department’s scholarship fund in Hahn Recital Hall inside Sursa Performance Hall.

Sophomore acting majors Carmia Lowe, Parker Hickey, Lizzie Nguyen and Paige Demba put together last Friday’s performance. The performance not only consisted of a play but had a little mystery as well.

The play that was performed, “White Rabbit, Red Rabbit,” is most known for its unpredictability, said Demba. The concept for the show was that the performer was selected moments before they read and performed it for the first time. DeeDee Batteast, adjunct professor for DOTD, was the person selected for the performance in a random drawing, something she said was exhilarating.

“It was a little scary, but I’ve performed before. It was mostly exhilarating, it was interesting because I was learning with the audience …” said Batteast.

The idea for the show started a long time ago when Demba ordered the play online.

“I thought it sounded like a really interesting concept from the little bits that I’d heard. I really hadn’t heard any of the specifics …” Demba said.

After buying the play, Demba, Lowe, Hickey, and Nguyen were all at Demba’s apartment when they decided to pass around the play and read it. Afterward, they decided they wanted to put on the show not only for its concept but also to help the department.

This semester, funding for the DOTD’s scholarships was down, something Batteast said could be a problem for some students.

“Scholarship money is everything. I think education truly is like a lifelong gift. I think it’s a shame that everyone doesn’t have access to it …” said Batteast.

Demba agreed.

“The Department of Theatre and Dance, … doesn’t get as much funding as we would like, which is very sad …”

Scholarships weren’t the only thing affected in the department as an effect of the expansion. Last summer Carmichael Hall, the department’s only on-campus rehearsal space and home for many of the student’s classes, was torn down to make room for more dormitories.

While it has not been confirmed that the budget cuts are solely due to Ball State’s expansion project, Batteast thinks that it could be a factor.

“I think everywhere, money is tight for everybody. I think it could be the expansion. I don’t know … I think it’s tough. I think a lot of things are going on in the world and people are sort of holding on to their money ...” said Batteast.

For any comments or concerns about this story, contact the author at emharless@bsu.edu.