One sunny day on Cruz Plaza, as Mercerians relaxed on blankets and tossed frisbees, a group of faculty, Macon residents and students gathered nearby with a big parrot head and an enormous skeletal structure attached to a backpack.
“Who wants to try on the backpack?” Frani Rollins, assistant professor of theatre at Mercer University, called out at the rehearsal for the Mercer Players’ next project, in which cast members twirl fire, walk on stilts, and operate puppets both big and small.
“The Phoenix Project: Renewal” will take place April 24 on Cruz Plaza, swapping out the stage for the 360-degree scenery at the center of the University’s Macon campus.
The show examines how the community will move forward after the pandemic and explores questions about equity in society.
The Mercer Players invite students and community members to be a part of the outdoor parade spectacular. Volunteers may choose to help only on the day of the performance or commit more time to learning a new skill and become a featured performer.
“We want people to come and try something new for those who haven’t done theatre before. If you’re an athlete, you can really help with the heavy puppets. If you’re a dancer, the movement background will be great,” Rollins said. “We will need hands, and it’s a lot of fun and easygoing.”
To get involved, email Scot Mann, associate professor of theatre, at firstname.lastname@example.org, and come back to The Den for more video blogs leading up to the performance.