English department lets loose for April Fools

by Lindsie Trego

Only at one event can a person hope to see such spectacles as a student-made film, a sewing demonstration, students singing and strumming guitars, and professors performing their talents all in one evening. Fool Me Once is a talent show to be presented by the English department April 1.

“We decided on April 1 because we thought it would be an easier day to feel foolish,” said Nicole Sheets, assistant professor of English and organizer of the show.

Sheets said she has been working on getting the word out through Facebook, email, posters and by word of mouth. Though finding performers has been a bit of a challenge, she said she expects a good group of silly acts.

“A few people, and by a few I mean a couple, have contacted me out of the blue,” Sheets said. “But mostly it’s just been me pressuring people to perform.”

One student who gave into that pressure is Kathryn Ferris, a sophomore English major, who found out about the talent show at the same time she found out she was to perform.

“It was funny,” Ferris said. “I checked my email and had a message from Nicole. She said, ‘I put you down for sewing. Hope you don’t mind.’”

Ferris will give a sewing demonstration, in which she said she intends to show some of her previous sewing projects and do an interactive lesson with the audience on sewing techniques.

“I am thinking about bringing a pack of needles that I have and some thread and having [the audience] practice some stitches,” Ferris said. “Then, I think I’ll send them home with a project and a pattern I made.”

Aside from non-traditional acts such as Ferris’s sewing demonstration, the show will include some more common acts such as singing and instrumental performances. Karina Basso, a junior English major, will be playing guitar for the show.

“It’s a talent that I’ve had for a long time and haven’t really had a chance to show off since high school,” Basso said.

Basso said she is excited to see what other quirky acts end up in the show.

“English majors are quirky,” she said. “So you maybe want to see what the other acts will be.”

Aside from providing a night of quirky acts for the audience, the show will also benefit Project HOPE (PH) Spokane, a local non-profit focused on at-risk youth.

The group’s mission is to provide “the means for disadvantaged youth in Spokane’s West Central and Emerson Garfield neighborhoods to escape poverty and gang affiliation through entrepreneurial initiatives,” according to the organization website.

Project HOPE’s programs include an urban farm and a farmer’s market in West Central.

The farm and the market provide a place for youth members of PH’s “green collar jobs” program to work. In this program, disadvantaged youth receive on-the-job training and business skills through their work on the farm and at the market, according to the organization website.

“Sometimes you can motivate people to do weird things if you’re doing it for a cause,” Sheets said.

The show organizers are still looking for more acts and anyone is invited to perform.

“We welcome friends of English or English sympathizers or even if you speak English,” Sheets said. “For that matter, you don’t even have to speak English.”

Performers can sign up to be a part of the show by emailing Sheets at nsheets@whitworth.edu by March 22.

Attendance at the show is also open to all. Suggested donations are $1 for students and $3 general admission.

Contact Lindsie Trego at lwagner14@my.whitworth.edu

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