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Clemson Football players swap roles with The Clemson Players

Griffin Cobb, Soon-to-be Graphic Comm Major
Annie Bresee
A recent update to the athletic contract required for football players has misspelled “Clemson players” to “The Clemson Players,” resulting in the team becoming contractually obligated to perform in the University theatre department’s spring musical.
As both new and returning players signed the contract, all missed the inconspicuous capitalization of the ‘p’ in “Players,” which drastically shifted the binding roles. Each athlete who signed was made part of the University’s theatre troupe, The Clemson Players, and as such became contractually obligated to perform in the upcoming spring musical, “Annie.”
The mistake, caught retroactively, resulted in the firing of Athletic Coordinator Shirley Temple, but left the department with no one qualified to write or rectify contracts, so the obligation still stands.
Interviews with the original members of The Clemson Players revealed their wariness of the new members, expressing concerns about their lack of experience and dedication.
“Many of these athletes have never even seen a theatrical performance, and now they have to perform?” said professor of theatre history Swabo Dinney. He later added that he was at least thankful to finally have an excess of males performers in the department.
Rehearsals for “Annie” began on Monday, March 28, which The Kitten was allowed to observe.
Despite concerns from the theatre department, defensive tackle Bryan Bresee was cast as classic sweetheart, Annie. From the brief we saw, his physical conditioning had lent itself to the intense dance numbers the show requires. After the rehearsal had concluded, Bresee was able to give a few statements on his theatrical experience so far.
“I never expected to enjoy it this much,” he said. “Sure, tackling other players is fun, but tackling a role as complex and fun as Annie is a whole new sense of fulfillment.”
Once finished, quarterback DJ Uiagalelei, who had been cast as a stagehand, attempted to give a comment but was called back to the stage to fix a fumbled prop.
Head football coach Dabo Swinney expressed rather surprising support for his athlete-turned-actors, saying “Whether it be under the stadium lights or stage lights, I want my boys to give a hundred and ten percent, no less. God bless.”
“Annie” will open on April 27 on a makeshift stage in Death Valley Stadium, with tickets going on sale April 14. While an odd consequence of circumstances, both the Clemson players and The Clemson Players hope to put on a performance to wow and impress both theatre and sports fans alike.
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