Plan II and LAH Troupes Resolve Historic Conflicts with Theatre


Photo Credit: Nina Hernandez | Daily Texan Staff

A Plan II student, a liberal arts honors student and an Aggie fall down a staircase. 

“Ow,” the Aggie says.

“I meant to do that,” the LAH student says.

“When you really think about it, why do we have stairs in the first place?” the Plan II student says.

One only needs to turn to the UT memes page for evidence of Plan II’s reputation for eccentricity and intolerability. But to see how Plan II channels that notorious reputation into productivity, their theatre troupe, the Broccoli Project, offers the best example. 

The Broccoli Project started in Plan II, and while largely made up of Plan II majors, it’s expanded to encompass members from the rest of UT’s schools.

Nicholas “Hoo” Ray, a Plan II senior and co-producer of the Broccoli Project, said the eccentric character troupe is a product of the unconventional plays members pitch democratically each semester. They do not, however, fit into a well-balanced diet.

“We are a student-run, highly democratic theatre troupe, which focuses on dark comedies and avant garde plays,” Ray said. “But I don’t want to say avant garde because that’s pretentious as hell.” 

Broccoli has put on many unconventional plays in its time, including “Spanish Tragedy,” a bloody puppet show complete with a Splash Zone and a Scientology Christmas Pageant Musical. These groundbreaking endeavors into the new frontier of theatre may ruffle some feathers, but it’s one giant leap for these intellectuals.

Ray said the project he’s most proud of was a show the troupe performed a few years ago called “Oral Dad,” in which a young man communicates with his dead father through a ouija board tattooed on his tongue. (We don’t have any jokes for this part of the article, that’s just what the play is actually about.)

In the cut, The Broccoli Project is rolling up “Gallathea,” a play by John Lyly first performed in 1588, with Liberal Arts Honors’ troupe, “Foot in the Door.”

Patrick Greer, Plan II sophomore and Gallathea co-director, said Gallathea is a same-sex romantic comedy following two young women, disguised as men, who narrowly escape death and eventually fall in love.

Carly Stuart-Micocci, a senior in LAH and executive producer of Foot in the Door, said co-producing Gallathea with the Broccoli Project was a great opportunity for both troupes to overcome their honors rivalry and work together in the name of true artistic integrity. Two paths diverged in a wood, she said, and they took both. 

“In the past we kind of diverged, and as I took over as Foot in the Door’s executive producer this year, I really wanted to work together,” Stuart-Micocci said. “We don’t have to compete.”

Though it often seems that this town ain’t big enough for two schools full of inflated egos, Stuart-Micocci said Broccoli and Foot in the Door can be co-sheriffs — hopefully they’ll be okay sharing the badge.

In the past, the two groups butted enlarged heads over issues as large as the president’s hands, so now they’re taking a gargantuan leap over that bridge.

Stuart-Micocci said co-producing Gallathea with the Broccoli Project this semester is a way to put the water under the bridge.

“LAH and Plan II are sister programs, they were designed that way,” Stuart-Micocci said.  “I view the Broccoli project and Foot in the Door as sister troupes — I always have.”