Students prepare in anticipation of Presentation Day

Taylor Williams

For many students in the Department of Theatre, this week will be the last of their undergraduate degree. Between finishing assignments, preparing for exams, and saying goodbyes, this year’s graduates are busier than ever – but there’s still one thing left on the to-do list: a celebration.

Friday, April 8th is Presentation Day, a department-wide event that allows graduating students to showcase their favourite projects and performances. This year, Presentation Day will feature vocal masques, scenes, a design gallery, a one-act play, and dozens of other presentations. Running Presentation Day is no small task, and we spoke to two of the students who have been working behind the scenes to pull everything together: event chair Raeleigh Aberg (top photo) and stage manager Olivia Reid-Friesen (lower photo).

 When asked to outline her responsibilities as stage manager, Reid-Friesen explained, “For me, [Presentation Day] looks like running some tech rehearsals on Monday and Tuesday. On Friday, getting here early, making sure all three of our venues are ready to go. … And making sure that between myself and our front of house manager Raeleigh, the day runs smoothly.”

Aberg’s duties also began well in advance of Presentation Day. “I started planning in January/February, and then it just kind of became a lot of logistical work. [I’ve been] making sure that people are aware of what the rules are and the guidelines are for what they can actually submit, and actually getting all the information out there, and collecting everyone’s proposal forms,” she described. “On the day, I will be front of house managing and actually working with the stage manager, Olivia.”

 Evidently, Presentation Day requires an immense effort from across the department. We asked Reid-Friesen why the day is significant to her – and why it’s worth all of the hard work. “It’s a good wrap-up for the year,” she remarked. “The significance is seeing every grad that wants to present to come together and share their craft that they’ve been able to hone in on in the last four years.”

For Aberg, Presentation Day marks the opportunity to have larger groups of people back in the building again. “Actually getting to have a large event, having this is a great opportunity. It’s going to be really exciting to see my peers presenting and getting to see their families enjoy it, and actually having my family [there] as well,” she commented.

When we asked Reid-Friesen and Aberg who should attend Presentation Day, a similar smile lit up each of their faces. Aberg was eager for younger students to witness Presentation Day, saying, “For future years, even if you don’t know anyone who’s presenting, make sure you come and see what they can do, and also get to celebrate some of the work that we haven’t been able to see.”

Reid-Friesen also encouraged younger students to attend the event, saying, “For the first-, second-, and third-years who haven’t necessarily experienced Presentation Day, they should really come and see the hard work that students have put in, and picture themselves up there on that stage in however many years.” 

Presentation Day runs from 10:45 am to 6:00 pm on April 8th, 2022 at various locations within the Phoenix Theatre. Admission is free.