First year students prepare for the opening of “Anxious People”

Dora Kreitzer, Contributing Writer

On Sept. 17, this year’s first production of “Anxious People” will open just in time for the University’s Family Weekend. 

The show itself is a series of skits, each dealing with a different theme, such as hope or guilt, that will resonate with audience members. Writer Carol Y. Lee hoped to portray everyday human experiences and break down the stigma around discussing anxiety.

Ashleigh Marmer ’25 plays “D,” an older sister that struggles to connect with her family because she is constantly busy at work and prefers to spend her free time watching movies. 

“I think that there are some points in the show where the audience is sitting there a little confused and then you realize ‘oh wait, I’m the anxious person right now,'” Alice Jackins ’25, the show’s stage manager said. 

Both Jackins and Marmer said that the show’s message was a large incentive for joining the cast, it was extremely relevant and unlike any performance they had done before. 

“We’re at a point in time where more and more people are struggling with anxiety or being open about the fact that they struggle with anxiety, and I think it’s something that a lot of college students can relate to, especially first years in this new experience,” Jackins said. 

The first-year show, a time-honored tradition at the University, presents an opportunity for first-year students to get involved in the theatre department, continue passions they had before arriving on campus, and have creative experiences outside of their typical classwork. 

Jackins, for example, was given the opportunity not only to stage-manage but also work as the show’s lighting designer. 

However, while the cast is entirely first-years, they are not the only people involved in the show. 

For example, Abby Strayer ’22 is directing the show, and there were many other upperclassmen involved in the production process behind the scenes. Jackins and Marmer noted that they, and some other first-years, appreciated the older students’ guidance this early in their University experience. 

As opening night approaches, the cast and crew, many of whom have been on campus for less than a month, are excited and fittingly anxious about opening night. For some of the actors, this is their very first time performing; for all of them, this will be their first time sharing their talents with their new classmates. 

Marmer said that since she was cast, “the production process has been extremely enjoyable. Everyone involved in the show truly wants to put on the best performance possible.”

“Anxious People” has two shows: 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 17, and Saturday, Sept. 18 at the Harvey M. Powers Theatre. Tickets cost $7 and can be purchased at the box office or on the box office website:

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