For years, students have enjoyed two campus events that have become staples of the AU experience: Cheap Thrills, put on by the social club Dativus, and Encore, organized by Avanti Boosters. On Oct. 17 at 8 p.m., the two clubs will be joining forces to create a brand-new event—“Cheap Encore.”
Austin Hostetler, a junior music business major and the productions officer for Avanti Boosters, explained that the idea was formed during a meeting between Dean of Students Chris Leukenga and members of Dativus and Boosters.
With the restrictions set in place by AU, Cheap Thrills and Encore were both going to be limited to 30 minutes of showtime, after which the area would need to be vacated for 20 minutes before the production would be permitted to continue.
“As I was sitting there, I was trying to think of ways we could do a continuous show, and that’s when the idea of combining the shows popped into my head,” said Hostetler. “From there, we discussed how we could make it happen.”
Hostetler explained that the decision was made for the combined show to take place in the AU campgrounds using two stages, placing one on each end.
“By doing this, it allows us to do a 30-minute show, stand everyone up and have them walk a short distance to where we will start the next show,” said Hostetler. “That process will happen twice, so you get two 30-minute Cheap Thrills shows and two 30-minute Encore performances.”
He explained that attendees can look forward to “some of the best singers on campus during the Encore section and some super hilarious skits from Cheap Thrills.”
“Both of our shows have a history of providing quality entertainment on campus, and we need to keep that going,” said Hostetler. “By putting the two shows together, we are able to make history by working together for the first time, and showing that even in hard times, we can come together and put on a tremendous show for the AU community.”
Hostetler added that those who purchase a ticket will receive a “cool bracelet” to commemorate the first-ever “Cheap Encore.”
The theme for this unique Encore is “Anything Goes,” meaning that the songs performed will have no specific genre or theme. The Boosters will be holding auditions on Oct. 5 and 6, and the signup sheet will be posted outside the SGA office on Sept. 30.
Hostetler explained that he believes the collaborative show will unify the two social clubs, which, in the past, have not been known for their harmony.
“Our two clubs have had an unspoken rivalry, and I don’t think anyone would expect us to work together,” said Hostetler. “I think this is a very good thing to happen because bringing us together is going to make it so our two clubs get to know each other better and maybe can encourage the two clubs to get along and support each other’s shows.”
Kaleb McClay, president of Dativus, agreed that the show will have a positive effect on the relationship between Boosters and Dativus.
“When running for president of Dativus, I really focused on not only bringing the Boosters and Dativus closer together, but all social clubs on campus,” said McClay. “Working on this incredible show with the Boosters will most certainly bring our clubs closer together, and we hope to collaborate more in the future.”
McClay explained that he hopes the show will be an enjoyable experience and provide entertainment for students in the midst of “the COVID-impacted world we live in now.”
“We really hope to promote community on campus which we have seemingly been deprived of,” said McClay. “We hope that students can come have a good laugh and enjoy student talent with the rest of campus.”
While the show will be adhering to the campus-wide COVID-19 guidelines, McClay assures students that most beloved aspects of Cheap Thrills will be preserved.
“Students will enjoy almost all of the classic Cheap Thrills elements that they love, just in new, socially-distant ways,” said McClay. “Students will see fantastic campus talent and experience hilarious comedy sketches at a show that they will not soon forget. This is a once-in-a-lifetime show that absolutely no one on campus wants to miss.”
Photo by Torrin Carter