‘Step Off’ Comes to Manship
You can pick your friends but you can’t pick your sorority sisters! This May, New Venture Theatre (NVT) will present a comedic glimpse at sorority life with “Step Off”, a story of the rivalry between two fictional sororities.
“The whole idea of these women in this group coming together to create a production is almost a production in itself, so I wanted to showcase it in a way that celebrated femininity and the fierceness that women possess,” said Greg Williams, Jr., NVT founding artistic director and “Step Off” playwright.
Dreama, the captain of Alpha Mu and her sorority sisters, have been challenged to bring it by rival sorority Kappa Theta in the annual Pearl Step Competition, to prove which sorority is the best on the campus of fictional Bailey University.
But when the group learns that Adorn, the world-renowned choreographer they emptied their savings account to hire, isn’t what they expected, they find more important lessons than just a choreography routine.
“This is a play that will entertain and show that part of growing up is finding your voice – you can’t let relationships, organizations or anything else define you,” said Amber Smith who plays Dreama
Williams said he wanted to write a play that had the feel of a musical. Songs by Beyoncé and Rihanna are used to illustrate the highs and lows for the sorority members. The play even resurrects Brooke Valentine’s “Girl Fight” for what is guaranteed to be one its most memorable scenes.
“There are so many elements to being in a sorority, one is community service, but they also participate in huge grand events and I wanted to respect that and also showcase it in a theatrical [way],” Williams said.
Instead of characters bursting into song, the production utilizes choreographer Dwight Bell for the dance scenes to tell the tale of the ongoing battle between the sororities.
“The characters in the story are going through a lot emotionally and we are using music and dance to showcase those emotions to the stage in a unique way,” Bell said.
Who will take the win at the Pearl and have the title of the best sorority on campus? That is a question that will be answered. But what is sure to make the show entertaining is the journey that these women take to make the dream of victory a reality.
“Step Off” opens May 15 and will run until May 18 at the Hartley/Vey Studio Theatre inside the Shaw Center for the Arts.
By Cameron James
City News Manager