As the new school year rolls around, students are getting into the swing of things. Clubs and groups are eager to recruit new members to introduce into the organizations that they are a part of. One group that always welcomes newcomers is PAW which stands for Performers at Work.
PAW is an organization based on the Gorham campus that is run by the students, for the students and community at USM. They offer a safe space for everyone of all identities to experiment with the arts. The student run group hosts events, such as game nights, improvs, theatre workshops, student directed one-acts, karaoke, and craft fairs. PAW also runs two full length productions that are completely done by the students. All of these events are free to students.
Performers At Work consists of a twelve person officer group. The students come from a variety of different majors and backgrounds. The officers create, organize, facilitate, and participate in all of the events. The officer group is comprised of; president Juliet Moniz, vice president August Thornton, treasurer Ciara Niedlnger, fundraising chair Isaac Martel, secretary Emily Bartley, student representatives Sean Buchanan and Alyssa Pearl-Ross, school of music student representatives Rita Micklus and Molly Ross, publicity Brooks Ewald, and historians Sophie Urey and Chana Wingard.
The officers meet once a week to plan events and manage business. Each of the officers have their own roles and responsibilities to fill and take care of for each project. The officers come up with ideas for events, create the budgets, and then execute the plan. Members of PAW can also attend the bi-monthly meetings to hear what is happening and voice their opinions to the group. The members get to connect one on one with other peers that have similar interests. They are able to explore artistic avenues without the fear of academic, financial, or social risk. The group fosters inclusive spaces and tries to really listen to their members’ wants and needs.
Anybody is welcome to come to events and participate. You can get involved by just showing up and having fun. Performers At Work says that they always welcome newcomers, even if you are not a performance major, you are still welcomed by the club. In the past show, they had two non-performance majors participate in the performance. To officially join the club and audition for shows, you just have to fill out a form available in Russell Hall and pay a five dollar due fee.
Performers At Work hosts play performances once per semester. The group also offers smaller cabaret style and lowkey events once a month. Some of their upcoming events include a drag show hosted by Bryan Spaulding on Friday, October 22nd in the upper class tent, ArtCon organized by Ciara Niedlinger on November, 1st in Russell Hall. ArtCon is a craft fair styled event that features booths of various artistic opportunities, which include caricatures, photography, and more.
PAW is a perfect opportunity for a student of any major to have a safe space to be themselves and not be afraid of being judged.
People can find the group on social media by going to Performers At Work on Facebook, usm_paw on Instagram, and subscribing to their monthly email chain by emailing [email protected]. People can also stop by the theatre department and chat with any of the officers.