USC students, faculty and visitors received a surprise in the courtyard behind Doheny Memorial Library Thursday afternoon in the form of a “flash play,” put on by USC Libraries in partnership with the School of Dramatic Arts.
“I love the idea of agitprop, which is what really made a difference back in the day, so when I heard about the flash plays I was like, ‘I want to be in one,’” Forte said.
The group put together the first flash play last year in front of Doheny, and is planning on holding three or four more this semester.
“We’re doing one for Lewis Carroll because that’s a big thing that they do around Alice in Wonderland; one for the ONE collection, which is the LGBT archive; one we think we’re going to do in the Engineering [Library], because it’s the most used library and one in [the] Fine Arts [Library],” Mayer said.
Though the play focused specifically on Doheny and the different libraries within it, the group also described Thursday’s play as an introduction to the libraries in general.
“It’s a remount of the premier of the original one we did in the spring,” said Jonathan Munoz-Proulx, a recent graduate and the director of the flash play. “We remounted it with some adjustments and another cast to celebrate it again and to remind everyone [the libraries] are here.”
Though, true to its name, the flash play was a surprise, some people were tipped off that it would happen. Around noon, many Doheny librarians and staff descended to the courtyard because they had heard that “something” was about to happen there.
For those who do not work at the library, USC Libraries tweeted, and USC retweeted: “Can you keep a secret? Something special might happen today around noon outside Literatea. #USC.”
Others, however, remained in the dark about the approximately five-minute performance, which interrupted their work.
“I was here with a student having a conference, so I was a little bit annoyed that they were interrupting,” said Jessica Harmon, a graduate student in linguistics and a Writing 140 lecturer. “I thought it would be good that a student was there who maybe didn’t know about the libraries and [would] hear about stuff that he wouldn’t necessarily know from living on campus.”
Mayer said that in the future, the plays will be teased through Twitter and Facebook.
Future plays may also have other special guest performers.
“I’m the one who tries to get people who are on TV to do [the plays]because I think that makes it a little fun for everybody,” Forte said.