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By Michael C. Roback
CCC Journalism Program

BLACKWOOD – Majorie Sokoloff is in her 14th year as the head of the theater department at Camden County College and continues to see disappointing student attendance at shows. She is directing “Little Shop of Horrors” and recently directed “Antigone.”

William Reid is a part of the MAD LIT literature club at Camden County College. By Michael C. Roback, CCC Journalism Program

Sokoloff said she’s never satisfied with student attendance at shows and has noticed a lack of student interest in all theater events during her time at the college. She has made sure to offer a wide variety of shows from cruel humor to serious tragedies to try to appeal to more students and introduce them to the world of theater.

“They just don’t know what it is and theater is not a part of their daily diet … yearly diet possibly,” Sokoloff said.

She said only 10 percent of everyone who attends shows are not connected directly to the program and would like to see that number increase. She has made it a requirement in all of her classes to attend the current show. This semester it will be “Little Shop of Horrors.” All promotion for the shows is student driven. The show has a major Facebook presence and promotion on Instagram. The students hang flyers around the campus to promote to students and staff. The annual fall back to school barbecue had a table promoting the theater program and upcoming shows.

Something new the theater department is doing to promote the spring musical is to be involved with the installation of Donald Borden as college president on April 6. As the staff and students walk from Lincoln Hall to Madison Hall, there will be multiple stops along the way. One stop will be the cast of “Little Shop of Horrors” singing songs from the show and making students aware of the upcoming performances.

In February, the Madison Literary Society of Camden County College held a poetry reading for African American History Month. William Reid, a student at CCC who is involved in the MAD LIT literature club, said he was excited to perform at the event and was expecting 50 or more people, at least half of them students. The club promotes its events through Facebook and by posting flyers around the campus. He also worked at the club’s table at the fall barbecue to promote the club.

The event ended up attracting 15 students. Reid said the student attendance was this high because some English professors offered their students extra credit if they attended the event. He said only two or three students were there just for fun and he was happy one of those students got involved by performing a piece for the crowd. He hopes to see the student audience grow.

Reid said a new endeavor is on the horizon.

“The film department is creating works based around last year’s Madison Review, the literary magazine,” Reid said. “I personally hope that by doing this, our club’s audience will expand and we can interest others.”

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