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The University Star




The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

COSMO Theatre Troupe creates opportunities for TXST students

The+2023+Officers+of+the+COSMO+Theatre+Troupe+jump+for+a+photo%2C+Thursday%2C+Jan.+19%2C+2023%2C+outside+of+the+Theatre+Center.

The 2023 Officers of the COSMO Theatre Troupe jump for a photo, Thursday, Jan. 19, 2023, outside of the Theatre Center.

Students in the COSMO Theatre Troupe, a student-led production company, know that making it in the performing arts industry at Texas State can be challenging. Nevertheless, the organization is working to pave the way to a safe and collaborative space for performers by turning the common “no” into a definite “yes.”
In the spring of 2022, Jessica Ruibal, a performance and production sophomore and president of the COSMO Theatre Troupe decided to put on the play that she wrote in high school, “Opened.” After building it from the ground up without a budget or clear guidance, including casting, holding rehearsals and performing, Ruibal was proud to showcase her first show at Texas State.
The cast members of “Opened” whom Ruibal had only considered playwriting classmates or mutual friends would soon be the future board members of COSMO.
“We are the only production company that will take full original student work and go out and do the full thing,” Anthony Lopez, a performance and production sophomore and publicist for COSMO said. “We won’t just do a writer’s workshop or a stage reading for them. Despite having this rugged but approachable atmosphere about us, we still kind of keep the same system that everyone else has without that kind of chip on our shoulder. This is for fun but you’re going to come here and do some theater because this is what we love and we’re going to do it right.”
COSMO has produced three shows since its creation last spring and is looking forward to three upcoming performances this semester, including a 10-Minute Play Festival.
Kairi Galvan, a film sophomore and secretary for COSMO, believes that the organization provides a more secure opportunity to perform compared to other performing arts organizations that are exclusive and have a slim acceptance rate. Galvan and Lopez believe the organization’s approachable image and members’ love for theater are what makes it special.
The inspiration to start performing wasn’t always the first choice for some of the members of COSMO. Zachary Powell, a film concentration sophomore and treasurer for COSMO, wanted to be involved in sports at a young age but couldn’t due to a medical condition. His mom put him in theater at the age of five and ever since, Powell has been grateful.
Powell is working on his first show “Murder at the Manor,” set to take the stage on April 14. Shows like “Murder at the Manor” typically start with table reads at Alkek Library and about two to four weekly rehearsals for a couple of months at the Theatre Center to ensure the shows are a hit. He believes that through this show, he is already discovering a new love for directing and taking charge.
“Just working with these people has taught me a lot about myself and how I like to work with others and make something that is special for other people to see,” Powell said. “That’s all I love doing. I want to make something that people can smile at, laugh at or just feel something and I feel like I’ll be able to take this experience with me if nothing else to whatever I go to next and be able to create something that people can enjoy.”
COSMO has grown exponentially since it started. Shelby Breda, a performance and production sophomore and vice president of COSMO saw an influx of interest when the 10-Minute Play Festival was announced. The 10-Minute Play Festival will consist of a featured play created by Ruibal and six competing plays written by Texas State students that will compete to win a $50 Visa gift card.
Interested students submitted their plays and only a limited number of them were selected to be performed on Feb. 25 at the Theatre Centre.
Although it saddened Breda to turn people away, it gave her great hope for the organization’s future, especially with how quickly the troupe grew from about seven members to 40 within a year.
“We had a bunch of plays that were submitted to put on their own work,” Breda said. “It got to the point, which was exciting for us but kind of sad because of what we made COSMO for, where we had to instead of making our own yes, we had to, unfortunately, tell people no, which is sad but also exciting because of how many more people we’ve gotten. It has just been very exciting to see how much COSMO has grown over the past year.”
In the future, although the original members will have graduated, Ruibal hopes that the remaining students carry on the legacy. Currently, the troupe is considering expanding the COSMO Theatre Troupe outside of Texas State. Ruibal hopes with the passion that the current troupe has for theatre, that idea can be accomplished.
“For us, you can tell that this is something that we love to do,” Ruibal said. “This is something we did on our own. I think that’s why we have so much fun with it because this is us.”
To learn more about the COSMO Theatre Troupe, visit its Instagram @cosmotheatretroupe.

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  • The 2023 Officers for the COSMO Theatre Troupe speak at the Performance and Production Majors Meeting, Friday, Jan. 20, 2023 at the Theatre Center.

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