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Mocha Madness Celebrates a Decade of Creativity

Photo by Eric Bell
Well Said— Gary Marshall tells a fable about the Jack-o'-Lantern at Mocha Madness. Mocha Madness celebrated a decade of creativity Nov.1.
Linna Jones
Arts & Entertainment Editor 

   The Creative Society celebrated a decade of Mocha Madness and the 20th show with a variety of talent, plenty of coffee and air time Nov. 1.

   New cable station PB 7, operated by Tony Paris, will televise Mocha Madness. Randy Kelley, a free lance cameraman and UAM alum, taped the performance, and it is unknown at this time when it will air. 

   Shannon Stivison-Knight, choragus of the Creative Society, said she's happy Mocha Madness will air on television.

   “I think it is pretty cool,” Stivison-Knight. “It really gets Mocha out there.

   "(Mocha Madness) is always smaller in the spring," Stivison-Knight added. "Since it is televised may be more people will show up in the spring.”

   Participants performed poetry, plays, improvisation, prose and music for the audience and a camera. Megan Mixon served at the Creative Society’s Mistress of Mayhem. Mixon announced Stivison-Knight as the first performer, who began the night by reading a couplet of poems.   

   Gary Marshall, professor of speech communication and adviser of the Creative Society, said this year’s show topped the past Mocha shows. 

   “It was the best Mocha ever,” Marshall said. “When you give people the opportunity to be creative, we are.” 

   Marshall, who performs as “Mars Hall,” read a fable about the legend of the Jack-o’-Lantern and sang a song. Errin M. James read two poems, one of the poems demonstrated how voting can change the world.   Jim Roiger, professor and chair of the Division of Computer Information Systems, entertained the crowd with “poetry of this and that.” He read a new poem about old things and about a very deep mud puddle.   

  Kyle Knight and Brad Armoroso soothed the crowd with “Soft Rockin’.” They played a soft rock song accompanied by melodic sound of an acoustic guitar.

    Next, Eric Bell tickled the funny bones of the crowd with jokes about FaceBook, Britney Spears, high prices at the Bookstore and much more.

    The laughter continued with a short play called "Pork Chops and Apple Sauce" from Psquared B&J, which includes junior Brittany Pickett, Ren “Penny” Thornton, Pam Cameron and Jasmine Bolen. The play showed the life of a nurse and three of the residents in the Happy Days Retirement Center. The main characters' conversations jump from one era to another as they talk.

   Merlana (Cameron) condemns the Yankees in one breathe and talks of President Franklin Roosevelt fighting the Japanese in another.  In another scene, the “vacationing” resident (Thornton) and Sadie (Bolen), the nurse called Sally, pretend to smoke marijuana. Merlana asked Gertrude (Pickett) about the smell and said it smelled like Bankston. The crowd burst into laughter at the joke.  The play ended with Sadie being arrested.

   Junior Anthony Newton played a song on the piano after the break. Newton selected his piece about five minutes before he arrived.  He created his piece with inspiration from other songs. 

   Newton said what he thought about the night. 

   “I personally love poetry,” Newton. “So I enjoyed the mess out of it.” 

Photo by Eric Bell

Happy Days - (left) Sophomore Jasmine Bolen, Pam Cameron, junior Brittany Pickett and Ren "Penny" Thornton performed "Pork Chops and Apple Sauce," a short play for Mocha Madness. The play takes place a Happy Day Retirement Center.

       Jeffery Trotter recited two poems. He began one poem describing a rare talent and about his understanding wife.  

   Robert "Red Hawk" Moore, associate professor of English, read the poem “The Island Fishermen of Arkansas.”  The poem describes the destruction of their island from nuclear bomb testing, and how the radiation made them sick upon their return to the island.

   Red Hawk began reading his next poem “King Kong’s Balls, none of the film versions give him balls.” He reads on to say how movies show blood, gore and expose viewers to violence, but they will not show the anatomy of an animal. 

   Ronald Sitton, assistant professor of journalism, read poetry, sang and played several songs on his harmonica.  Sitton performed a song he and a friend wrote. He told a story about the time when he worked with the highway department to explain the song. 

   Open mic brought to the stage poetry, readings, a musical performance and improvisation. One performer read a poem about what drugs will do to your life and junior Jason Bowen read “The Cask of Amontillado” by Edgar Allan Poe. 

   Senior Chris Halley and first-year student Charles “Chip” Davis performed an improvisation. They requested the Mistress of Mayhem, Mixon, ask the crowd to suggest words including toilet paper, banana and several more.  Halley and Davis began the performance with a line from one of Red Hawk’s poems and found ways to include the words into the act. Davis began performing improvisations in high school and performed for the first time in college at Mocha Madness.  

   “Don’t hold it against us, what we had to say in the improv,” Davis said. “The words were given to us, and we just had to put them into the improv somehow.” 

   Participants received scented soaps created for the event. 

   Marshall said what he thought about the talent displayed at the show. 

   “I am constantly amazed at the quality of material at Mocha Madness and the students set up, decorate, take (decorations) down and can’t wait for another Mocha Madness,” Marshall said.

   Special thanks to Randal Wilson for the baked goods, Jeffery Trotter and Tabitha Smith  for creating the ceramic skull lights, the coffee brew masters Tandy Trotter and Brooke Burger and the Student Activities Board for funding the event. 


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ŠThe Voice 2007
09/17/2007 08:03:12 PM