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Summer 2006 | Volume 29, Number 3 | Campus

Body Image, on the Stage

A "Perfect" Season

FIVE YEARS AGO, University Players Director Josh Hornbeck ’99 wrote a one-act play about self-esteem. “It was justly rejected,” he says. “It wasn’t very good.” But last year he heard a statistic that gave him pause. Between 1998 and 2005, the number of high-school- and college- age females suffering from eating disorders more than tripled — to three out of four. “Seeing that sharp rise led me to revisit the play,” says Hornbeck. The result was “Perfect,” a play for and about high school students grappling with issues of self-esteem.

Between October 2005 and June 2006, the Players performed “Perfect” 27 times for high schools and youth groups across the state — to positive reviews from teens, teachers, and youth pastors. “Wonderful message!” wrote Jean Bulette, chapel coordinator at King’s West School in Bremerton, Washington. “You could have heard a pin drop. The students were so absorbed.”

Hornbeck and the Players say they were pleased to see the impact of the play. After performances, students often came forward to talk with Kendra Thompson, who played a high school girl with an eating disorder. When appropriate, she prayed with them. After one performance, a boy approached Ryan Putnam, who played a stressed-out overachiever, telling him, “I’m exactly like you in the show.”

All six Players — seniors Thompson, Kyle Feldmann, Alicia Van Holt, and Sarah Ware; and sophomores Putnam and David Roby — performed in “Perfect,” while soundboard operator Dustin Morache provided technical expertise. The play’s theme is captured in these lines from Ware’s character, Julie: “God made you the way you are for a reason. He doesn’t make mistakes.”

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School’s Out
Four professors with 121 combined years of commitment to the University say goodbye to SPU and hello to retirement.

Living His Dream
Young alum Bryce Phillips has built successful businesses while advocating work-life balance for himself and his employees.

Paradise Lost
In The New World, Pocahontas takes moviegoers on a spiritual journey some critics dubbed an overlooked masterpiece.

One for the Record Books
Falcon decathlete Chris Randolph became a two-time national champion while setting new SPU records.

My Response
A Class of 2006 graduate reflects on lessons learned in Havana, Cuba, and in a classroom visit from Edward Nixon — Richard Nixon’s brother.

Back-Cover Art
As Professor of Art Michael Caldwell retires, he shares a landscape from the Big Sky Country.

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