On Friday, September 23, a student-run theater company called the Fifth Street Players premiered their first show of the season, Labeled Pink. Following auditions the Fifth Street Players assembled their debut production over 18 evening rehearsals.
Labeled Pink was written by East Carolina student and Fifth Street Players Production Director, William Brooks. Brooks, a senior stage management major, first found success in playwriting last year when his play, Gentle Hands was brought to life by the Fifth Street Players. Seeing his work on stage, Brooks said “jumpstarted his playwriting.”
Labeled Pink is a time-piece following the lives of two couples, one in 1940s Germany and one in 2020s America. The stories of the couples parallel each other and “take a lot of liberties about how America is turning into Nazi Germany… if we keep on going down the path we’re on, said Brooks.
Associate Producing Artistic Manager Morgan Goodman said that since it’s an original piece of work. “It’s a completely fresh look.”
A primary focus of the Fifth Street Players is to “figure out what they can do to keep each other growing as artists, that they wouldn’t usually have the ability to do on the mainstage” said senior Producing Artistic Manager Jane Simmons. Whether they’re collaborating with the English Department or the School of Theatre and Dance, Goodman said the Fifth Street Players always try to “break walls set between programs.”
The Players’ next project will be the second annual Fifth Below cabaret style show. Based on the New York show Fifty-Four Below, Fifth Below is a chance for people to be seen off the mainstage, Goodman said. The theme of this year’s Fifth Below production is gender blend, which Simmons said is a great “opportunity for people to switch roles and get a little out of their comfort zones.” To get involved and learn more, follow their Instagram and Facebook pages.
—Kate Lochner, BS in Communication candidate