UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa — Within hours of getting keys, moving into a dorm room and saying goodbye to parents and family members, more than 3,500 first-year Penn State students will venture out of their rooms to an interactive experience that should set their emotions in high gear, and hopefully prepare them for a smoother and smarter transition to college life.
Stepping out of the ordinary activities of New Student Orientation and Welcome Week, Penn State leaders have opted to give the incoming Class of 2022 a debut theater performance that tackles tough — but very real — scenarios, like finding academic success, avoiding pitfalls, alcohol use and other realities of life on a college campus.
By students, for students
Not shy about discussing sex, consent, alcohol, drugs and peer pressure, the interactive theater experience titled “Results Will Vary*” was written by students for students — making the show as true to life as possible.
A mix of actors, vocalists, writers, dancers and musicians were recruited from Penn State’s School of Theatre to write and produce the show from scratch. The show uses storytelling, sketch comedy and songs to educate first-year students about what is generally one of the biggest transitions in their young lives, complete with awkward moments and difficult challenges.
"We’re transporting ourselves back in time to channel emotions we had when we attended New Student Orientation (NSO), and sharing what we know now and what we wish we knew then," said Jasmine Forsberg, a cast member and sophomore in the School of Theatre. "Having current students talk directly to new students is what makes the show more relatable than a pamphlet or seminar. We're really striving for new students to be able to see themselves in our stories. It's personal for the audience, and for us."