UCSB’s Health and Wellness Program will appeal to a wide range of spectators with “Wizard of Balls,” a spoken word presentation in the Theater and Dance Building’s Room 1701 today at 7:30 p.m.
The event will feature 24 student performances by the newly-formed spoken word group Lip Bomb, co-sponsored by safe-partying advocates Life of the Party, UCSB community grants and United Religious Community Interfaith Fund. The performances will touch on a wide range of topics, such as gender stereotyping and courageous acts, and ball-shaped food will be served.
Gabrielle Dimaranan, a third-year psychology major and member of Lip Bomb, said the presentation came about as a result of the group’s artistic development.
“Our title ‘Wizard of Balls’ is a playful reference to the Wizard of Oz, but with a slight twist,” Dimaranan said. “Essentially, it describes our group’s growth from newcomers to the art spoken word to becoming members of Lip Bomb, the title of our new student group.”
Roxi Diaz, a fourth-year psychology major, said the balls entered the affair as a reference to one student’s on-stage mishap at another spoken word performance.
“The ‘balls’ theme was inspired by Mel Rosenberg’s piece, ‘My PG Life,’ when she blanked on her lines in the class last quarter and the only thing she could remember from the piece for a good five minutes was, ‘Where are my lady balls?’” Diaz said.
Lip Bomb began when a number of students inspired by Art 137 — the Art of Spoken Word, taught by professor Kip Fulbeck — decided to pour their creativity into an organized group, according to fourth-year sociology major Molly Goldman.
“The students in it fell in love with writing and performing and decided to continue on their own. This show has been a labor of love,” Goldman said. “It will consist of all original pieces, individual and group, and will address the topics of gender norms, courage and writer’s block, as well as a variety of other topics.”
According to Diaz, although the event will feature spoken word veterans and newcomers alike, all performing students have a background in the lingual medium and have presented showcases in the past.
“All of the performers have taken [Art 137] and most of them took his class last quarter and put on the show ‘Strictly Oral’ in the MCC theater which [was last quarter],” Diaz said. “The show was a great success with a theater so packed we had to turn people away.”
Diaz said the event will also include a group piece, with the same title as the event, which will discuss the trials and tribulations of writer’s block. Other performances include a comedic piece by Desmond Wilder about masculinity, a love poem by Demi Anter and Diaz’s own farewell piece about leaving Isla Vista as a graduating student.