SPOTLIGHT: The Jaguar Performing Arts Club showcases the power of student leadership through art and theater

The Jaguar Performing Arts Club (JPAC) held its signature "Jag Voices" performance this past March

Courtesy of JPAC
Courtesy of JPAC

Founded in 2015, the Jaguar Performing Arts Club (JPAC) serves as a foundation to promote the performing arts through social gatherings and performances. Each year, they hold a performance known as “Jag Voices,” a production written, directed and performed by students.

According to their page on the IUI Liberal Arts website, their mission is to “spread the joy of performing arts by having students engage, present and perform in theatrical arts.” The club gives students opportunities to work on stage and behind the scenes in a variety of performances.

The organization is run by student officers who were elected by the members of the club. Officers help run the performances and promote the shows through their social media, where they advertise their auditions, casting notices and other events they put on throughout the school year. 

Members of JPAC are entitled to a vote throughout the school year on what they will perform at their showcases. They also have an agency and budget for the different talent shows, one-act plays and monologue showcases they put together.

Zach Adkins, a member of and writer for JPAC, has gained a lot of experience and knowledge from the organization and hopes to promote the love of performing arts through their showcases. 

“I came in as ‘the writer’ for the club,” said Adkins. “A few friends recommended me to join the club, and, since I had written prior scripts in high school, I thought this would be a good fit.”

Adkins has been involved with JPAC for a year and wrote the script for this year’s “Jag Voices,” titled “Noir-ished by Mystery.” 

“I originally came up with the idea of the show as a joke between friends where I would monologue to myself in a noir detective style, and the pieces clicked from there,” explained Adkins.

“I used a lot of elements I've seen from noir skit comedies and actually In Space with Markiplier that came out about midway through the original draft process.”

Adkins also works in the tech department and acted in a variety of roles for their shows. 

Virginia Sever, the president of JPAC, helps plan a variety of outings for the students to performances of shows such as “Sanctuary City.” She joined the club due to her passion for the arts and her interactions with the students. Last year, one of her scripts was chosen for “Jag Voices,” which led to her role as president. 

“I was reluctant to take on leadership opportunities, and with my script being chosen for Jag Voices, I grew into the role,” said Sever. “As a freshman, I longed for a sense of community on campus. It's very rewarding to be able to provide that to people, especially the underclassmen.”

JPAC plans to have an awards ceremony at the end of the school year. During the summer, there are opportunities for theater workshops in Indianapolis, but their club will not hold any more showcases until the end of the year. Most of their events and showcases are advertised through their Instagram page, @iupui_theatre.

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