Students, staff can deliver monologues in Titan Slam


Kaelyn Johnson has loved theater since she was a little kid.

“But I would always get discouraged by classmates and friends who would tell me, ‘Don’t you want to study something more academically challenging?’” she said.

Johnson started as a communication studies major.

She was part of The Varsity News and did a story in which she had to interview someone from the theater department.

The person invited Johnson to a rehearsal. She went.

Johnson went to several more rehearsals and made friends in the theater department.

“The more time I spent with the theater kids, the more I felt like I belonged,” she said.

She entered the theater program in 2019.

But soon the pandemic interrupted everything.

Still, Johnson joined the Titan Slam last year and earned third place with her “Recent Tragic Events” monologue.

The Titan Slam is an annual monologue competition where any student, alum or guest can participate. The top three monologues get $500, $300 and $200 prizes.

Elise Pannemann, another theater major who participated in the Titan Slam in 2020, said the event motivates her to do better every year, and reassures her that she is in the right program.

“I think the Titan Slam is a fun and harmless way to get out of your comfort zone,” said Panneman.

Johnson recommends the slam because it offers an enjoyable way to discipline yourself to memorize, she said, adding, “If you can memorize a monologue, you can memorize anything.”

This year’s event will be the first live performance since the pandemic, according to Alan Devlin, theater technical director.

“I am excited to be able to go live again and for the students to have an opportunity to perform,” said Devlin.

The last day to send a monologue video is Sept. 24.

The top ten monologues will be performed live Saturday, Oct. 2, during Homecoming.

Johnson said, “I would encourage everyone to participate in the Titan Slam competition. It is always fun to become a different character.”

In addition to the slam, the theatre company will stage three productions this year.

One will be the play “Antigone” in late October.

“Norweigians” and “Addams Family Musical” will follow in winter.

“Theater is never a negative experience. It is just more experience,” said Pannemann. “If I win the competition, then I feel like I am where I belong. If I don’t win, it is an opportunity for me to work harder next year.”