The King’s Theatrical Society (KTS) set up chairs in a large circle in the pit. As masked students trickled in, they carefully measured one metre of space left between chairs.
The KTS had a few virtual workshops last year over Zoom, doing what they could to keep a sense of community. Now, they are starting rehearsals for Sophocles’ Antigone, the comeback of Classics in The Quad.
“It feels really big and exciting,” says Tessa Hill, the show’s director and third-year King’s student. “One of the things that came up a bunch of times when we were starting the show and auditioning people and preparing was how wild it felt to be back with other people and creating together.”
Hill was moved by the amount of enthusiasm towards Classics in the Quad, noting a seemingly larger number of auditionees this year than in years past. “There’s a lot of excitement that I’m feeling from everyone on campus as well as all of my cast and myself to just, kind of, be in each other’s presence and feeding off each other’s energy… I really missed that.”
As of publishing, there are over 15 societies at King’s that students may join. Societies ratify under the King’s Students’ Union for funding and can host events on campus, provide services and community for students or connect a particular interest group.
The lack of societies and normal student life over the past year impacted students’ experiences. “With Covid, we didn’t do anything,” says Emily Reid, an executive member of the King’s Dance Collective. “It’s really good to be dancing again.”
The collective works with dancers of all skill levels and practices dances such as tap, contemporary, ballet and hip hop. Reid hopes this year for the collective will be better than how it ended in her first year at Kings. “…Because of Covid, we didn’t get to have our year-end show, so I’m really excited to have that this year. Hopefully by March of next year we’ll actually be able to have a show.”
Students are excited for the opportunities to interact with their peers. Daniel Konopelski, a first-year student, frequently attends King’s Student Union meetings and has a role in Antigone. “Every experience is brand new,” he says. “I’m just really excited to get back into what would be normal social interaction.”
Other first-year students, Lola Drewery and Ethan Leckie, decided to start their own extracurricular: UKC Spikeball.
“Why not make our own league and have it a little more relaxed than intramurals? Mostly just a fun event for King’s students” says Drewery. The pair announced the league to their peers during FYP morning announcements on Sept. 23.
“It’s going to be a great way to make new friends and get outside,” says Drewery. “I’m excited for people to get into it.”
While it is just the beginning, there’s a wide range of societies available for students to join, and a clear excitement for their involvement. “Societies are really the backbone of the Kings community,” says Hill. “They run these amazing events and offer really important spaces for people to become involved.”