A Look into the Performing Arts at IUPUI


The Performing Arts at IUPUI is a program within the School of Liberal Arts that creates events that include learning how to improvise and put up productions from scripts that students created themselves.

President of the organization Vinny Carter wants to bring students interested in improv and theater together to collaborate with one another with the performing arts program.

President of the Performing Arts at IUPUI, Vinny Carter

President of the Performing Arts at IUPUI, Vinny Carter

“The organization tries to bring all people who are interested in the performing arts together. And through that, we do all kinds of things related to the performing arts like workshops with improv and dancing, go to productions, and make our own plays,” Carter said. “We’re really open to anything anyone wants to do.”

He said the theatre community is not very big on IUPUI’s campus, so anyone interested in performing or theatre in general should give the Performing Arts organization a look. They even made a movie for people interested in film.

“We won’t put people on the spot if they don’t want to be. You aren’t being forced to be a part of it, if you’re just there watching our events, you’re supporting us,” Carter said.

Carter is the final decision maker and works alongside three other members. Alongside that, he coordinates the judging aspect of the organization where students turn in scripts and judges decide which ones are the best. He is also directing one of five plays that will be playing at the second annual Jag Voices.

Jag Voices is the event bringing the five plays together, all of which were written by students (the ones that were being judged by officers of the organization), and perform them in late March. These plays have a big range in genre including murder mystery, science fiction, and musical.

Performing arts enthusiast, James Whelan

Performing arts enthusiast, James Whelan

James Whelan has been in performing arts for 10 years, and is in his second semester here at IUPUI. He found the Performing Arts and auditioned for one of the plays to become part of the performing arts culture at IUPUI. He was also told about the program by another member of the organization when he did a production last summer with them.

While asking him what he thought of the organization, he said, “It’s a well established, but hidden gem in the school. There’s a lot of talent, but no one really knows about it within the IUPUI community.”

When asked what he likes about performing, he responded, “It gives a certain time and space for someone to sit and listen to you. I like how you get the opportunity to move people emotionally and it’s an interesting dynamic to be on stage versus watching where the ones viewing can be taught something from the performers. It’s something you can’t find in a whole lot of other places.”

For anyone who isn’t in performing arts, Whelan still recommends trying it out.

“It’s something I think everyone should try at least once in their life because the whole point is to step out of your comfort zone and tries to make you comfortable,” Whelan said. “It’s necessary for people to try out. If they like it, great, but if not, at least they know it’s not for them.”

Whelan plans on joining IUPUI’s Performing Arts if he finds the time. And to anyone who’s wanting to either be part of performing arts, or trying to get out of their comfort zone, this might be the organization to check out. They can be found at IUPUI’s Den.