Standing Ovation for ‘Change It Up’

An 8 ½ x 11 sheet of paper was taped to the ticket booth window in Tucker Hall with big, bold letters splayed across it, stating: Tickets are sold out.

Change it Up II: The Look of Love, a FAMU Essential Theatre Production, had a packed house opening night on Friday.

“Originally we thought the turnout was going to be small, but when we realized that the show was sold out, we were very happy,” said 21-year-old Victoria Wilson, cast member and junior theater performance student from Tallahassee.

For attendees who bought their tickets in advance and made it into the tiny studio in room 119, Change it Up II was one of the highlights of the semester.

“I loved the show,” said Keith Oliver, 22, a senior theater performance student from Miami. “It was the perfect mix of everything and it actually touched on every area of love.”

The show was conceived and produced by Kimberly K. Harding and directed by Marci J. Stringer, Change it Up II.

The show opened with the sound of a live band playing, and spoken word by faculty member O.S. Lamar about unconditional and eternal love, with the reading of the scripture 1 Corinthians 13:4-8.

Students Farah Bercy, La ‘Tevin Ellis, Hannah Greer and Anastasia Mosby rang out “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.”

The cast’s multi-layered takes on love left some audience members with a change of heart about Valentine’s Day, including second-year physical therapy student Leigh Cooper, 22, from Miami.

“I really loved the show,” Cooper said. “It caused me to feel good about Valentine’s Day again, because I was anti-Valentine’s Day. In fact, I had just purchased a shirt from the mall that reads “I hate Valentine’s Day.”

Cast member Anquilla Dennard, 25, a fourth-year theater performance student from Belle Glade, Fla., received a standing ovation after her “Love or Lust” duo with actor David Barrow Wiley.

“Being on stage was electrifying, and I fed off of the energy of the audience,” said Dennard.

The full show consisted of more than just poetic words, but included dancers, rappers and vocalists such as Carmita McCall, Jessica Dickey and Glenn Hutchinson, Jr.

“I am so proud of my cast,” said stage manager Eboni Johnson, a 21-year-old fourth-year theater education student from Pensacola, Fla. “It’s like I had this really-proud-mommy-moment after the program.”