Performing in front of others can be daunting on its own, and to do a solo performance can seem outright terrifying, but for Elisabeth Rogge, performing solo is an emotional escape.
“I’ve done the Lab Series now three times: two stage readings and this play. But doing a solo show is very cathartic,” said the fourth-year in theater and English. “You get to express all of your feelings better than any sort of artist coming in and saying, ‘Oh, well this is my vision.’ You get to go in and say, ‘This is the story I want to tell and here’s how I’m going to tell it.”
Rogge wrote “To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before,” a play that is written in the form of a letter, last year as a solo act for a class. From there, the play took on a life of its own.
In the play, Rogge recounts the story of her unrequited loves. She laments and comes to the realization that she and the boy, or boys, weren’t meant to be together. She still goes down memory lane and remembers the good times that she had with her unrequited loves.
In the end, Rogge rationalizes that there will be other boys to love who will love her in return. The memories of her unrequited loves serve as warnings or reminders so she won’t fall in the same trap with someone else.
In the audience was Alex Jones, a fourth-year in international studies.
“I loved it, it was awesome. This is my first Lab Series actually,” she said.
Another audience member, Kim Martin, an OSU graduate with a degree in theatre, came to support her friend.
“I thought it was really good. I think it spoke a lot to what a lot of girls are going through, especially in college,” she said. “I know I went through a lot of things that she (Rogge) went through as well. I thought it was a good representation of how unrequited love feels and I think it was a lot to resonate with.”
Rogge actually wrote the letter to the boys, but sending it is another story.
Rogge is set to graduate, so this will be her final Lab Series performance.
She might have found another way to get her letter out there — by posting it on social media for everyone to see, including her unrequited loves.
“Maybe I will, but I’m gonna post this on Facebook and maybe it’ll get to them. There are five boys who have inspired this work if you will.”
The next Lab Series play is “Hold Please,” a stage reading. The play will take place on Sept. 28 and 29 at 7 p.m. in the New Works Lab at the Drake Performance and Event Center.