The Roial Players: MSU's Theater Group for Non-Theater Majors

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Tuesday, October 13, 2015, 8:14 am
Ashley Griffin

For the past ten years, MSU’s The Roial Players have been putting smiles on the faces of audiences as they perform plays (some written by their members), original shows and comedic improvisation.

In the unique and intimate space of the RCAH Theater on campus, they continue their love and passion for theater throughout their college careers, even with a diverse range of majors.     

The Roial Players theater group offers an array of different departments and areas for a multitude of interests that students may have. Lauren Gaynor, the current Executive Director, encourages students to get involved, saying that “we have a lot of branches; we do acting and put on five shows a year, and anyone can audition to act as long as they’re an MSU student. We have an improv team as well. Once a month the improv team has a show and they rehearse twice a week. Any MSU student can go to the rehearsals. We have a writing and film branch which also meet once a week as well.”

The Improv shows are very popular with students and are always held in a space where the Improv crew can connect and directly interact with their audience. Claire Babala, a senior at MSU, is an Improv actor and loves this particular field, “Improv is the best kind of release a college student could ask for. No matter what kind of day I’m having, going to practice and laughing and improving with my team will turn my day around. I love doing improv with the Roial Players for so many reasons. From joining, I’ve become much more confident with public speaking and even better, I’ve made my closest friends at college from being on the team.”

The next Improv show will be held on October 16th starting at 9pm, located in the RCAH Theater in the basement of Snyder/Phillips Hall. The show runs about two hours long and admission is $1.00. The public is welcome, although the shows are not necessarily appropriate for children.

In addition to the Improv shows, the Roial Players do two plays per semester. This year’s first show is less than a month. “Our November show runs the 5th-8th and is called Decision Height, written by Meredith Dayna Levy. It’s about women during WWII who work with airplanes. I’m all for it with feminism and we have an all-girl cast” said Gaynor

The second show of the current semester will also be held in the RCAH Theater. December 3rd-6th and is titled Lives of the Saints. The play is comprised of seven different one-act plays, all of which are comedic short stories.

Kandra Harper, currently a sophomore, has just started her second year with The Roial Players. She is one of the actresses in the December show and explained on how much this group has changed her experience at MSU, “it’s a really big family. I have made a lot of friends since being in Roial and it’s always a lot of fun.”

Gaynor is only the fourth Executive Director in the history of the Roial Players, and admits that “it’s still fresh but we have really made it our own throughout the years.” The name Roial started as an acronym for a group originally a part of the College of Arts and Letters. When the Residential College of Arts and Humanities formed, it was supported by this college instead, but the original name lived on.

While the fall acting auditions have already commenced, Gaynor reminded us that they hold auditions the third week of January as well, and if you want to get involved in other ways, she encourages this, “we always look for new crew members and stage crew, as well as art direction for all five of our shows. There is always an opportunity to get involved and do something. We’re a theater group for non-theater majors who want to continue their love of theater.” The Roial Players encourage any MSU Student to reach out and get involved.

Every (adult) member of the community is welcome at all Roial productions, student or not. You can find more information about the theater group atnd its schedule of performances and events at or look them up on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. © 2013-2020 East Lansing Info