Everything I Ever Really Needed to Know I Learned in HVMPLAY

Auditions Upcoming for Annual Act of Debauchery

It’s springtime, the flowers are beginning to bloom, and so is talk of one of Reed’s most anticipated traditions: HVMPLAY. Debuting in 1994, HVMPLAY began as a Reed Arts Week performance by Greg Lam. Over time, it has transformed into the lawless parody of the Humanities 110 curriculum that it is today. 

“Chaos. That’s the vision,” HVMPLAY direktor Lillie A. Case responds when asked about the upcoming production. “Chaos, but for some reason, everyone involved is laughing.” The team of direktors for HVMPLAY have the important job of turning the stress and suffering of the first‐years into a performance. The crudeness, rowdiness, and general ridiculousness of the play come from years of tradition, and HVMPLAY wouldn’t be the same without it. The direktors use those traditional elements of the play, mix in frustration about the Hum 110 curriculum, add a dash of community engagement, and they’ve got themselves a performance. “In this world, wherever there exists a mandatory course, there must arise an institution to make fun of it with crude, vulgar, and uncreative jokes,” Case points out. 

But why has HVMPLAY become such an integral part of Reed culture? Other than “Renn Fayre, and starting fires in the canyon, and that stupid concrete owl shit,” there are a few longstanding traditions at Reed, but relatively few theatre‐releated ones, remarked Case. This specific tradition has encouraged bonding among first‐years over a common sense of HUM‐related stress and has become a celebration of community over anything else. Case, in regards to the tradition and significance of HVMPLAY, points out that “it’s important for first‐years to have a space where they can find community and actually have fun with the shit they’ve been forced to learn and write about for an entire school year.” Naama Friedman, another member in the team of direktors, comments on their own experience: “HVMPLAY was such a fun experience for me last year and was a big contributor to my sense of community at Reed, especially since it’s a space where I could just be my loud, goofy self for a couple hours a week.” 

Auditions are nearing, which means that the direktors are sniffing out those worthy to participate in the spectacle. But what makes one worthy to contribute to such an important part of Reedie culture? According to the direktors, they are looking for any first years who are interested! When it comes to auditioning, “be really loud, be really fearless, and be really weird,” (Case), and “the only thing you need to be in HVMPLAY is the desire to get goofy and the willingness to BE LOUD!!!” (Friedman). 

Show up 9-11pm on February 9th and 10th in Vollum Lecture Hall to audition!

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