Student troupe to perform new works

The Hypothetical Players(from left to right): Kivan Kirk, junior in performing arts; Vinecia Coleman, graduated 2011 with Bachelor’s degree in microbiology; Kiersten Naberhaus, senior in English; Brittny Rebhuhn, graduated 2013 with Bachelor’s degree in performing arts; and Drew McCubbin, senior in performing arts.

Maggie Mcginity

For two weekends in August, five current and former ISU students who studied acting at Iowa State will take to the Des Moines stage as The Hypothetical Players.

“We are a newly formed theater troupe and we focus solely on the performance production of brand new works,” said Vinecia Coleman, playwright/actor and co-founder of The Hypothetical Players. Coleman graduated from Iowa State with a Bachelor of Science degree in microbiology in 2011.

“As humans, we’re built to tell stories,” said Coleman, whose second place finish in a playwriting competition at the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival in early 2013 spurred the idea for founding The Hypothetical Players.

Seeing her success, Hypothetical Players’ co-founder Kivan Kirk, junior in performing arts, suggested producing Coleman’s plays.

“He kind of pushed me, thankfully, into really creating The Hypothetical Players,” Coleman said.

The other three members, Drew McCubbin, senior in performing arts, Kiersten Naberhaus, senior in English, and Brittny Rebhuhn, 2013 graduate with a Bachelor of Arts in performing arts, joined after Coleman and Kirk coordinated a workshop reading of one of Coleman’s works.

“We all decided that after workshopping Vinecia Coleman’s plays … that we’d try to get together and perform some of them,” said McCubbin, who serves as an actor in The Hypothetical Players.

The troupe sought out a performance space and ended up settling on the 4th Street Theatre in downtown Des Moines, which is owned by Amy Brehm.

“She was kind of looking for like a place to fill and we were willing to, we were happy to do that,” Coleman said.

After finding a venue, the troupe decided to perform four short plays, entitled “Our Life on Canvas,” “Ready, Set, Go!,” “Hypothetically Speaking,” and “The Silent City Wish,” all part of a series entitled “Don’t Get Comfy.”

“The four that we chose to do fit the space, and I think they fit the time and place of being really accessible and really relatable,” Coleman said. According to Coleman, relatability is very important to The Hypothetical Players.

“I think a lot of times theater feels not accessible … seeing as I’m from middle class and most people who are from the Midwest are, we don’t quite understand why there isn’t theater that tells their stories,” Coleman shared.

“That’s why we feel that our particular type of theater, what we’re trying to do and what we’re currently writing is important.”

The Hypothetical Players will share their works on Aug. 9-11 and 16-18 at 7 p.m. Admission is $5 and the plays are recommended for ages 16 and up.

According to Coleman, no two performances will be the same.

“Each night there’s a different schedule, so it’s the same plays, but different actors will act them,” Coleman said.

The play’s title “Don’t Get Comfy” fits the rotation of actors.

“You don’t get comfortable because you gotta be on your toes, you gotta be listening,” McCubbin said. “It’s really live theater, because we don’t get to settle into a routine every rehearsal … we’re staying on our toes, we’re trying to be ready for anything that could happen up there.”

According to McCubbin, his training at Iowa State helped prepare him for this acting challenge.

“The acting classes are always just invaluable here at Iowa State and they really help me a lot,” McCubbin said.