Not just a party

Brllianteen establishes stricter rules


To offer leadership, performance, and social opportunities to area youth, the McGaw YMCA in Evanston has changed Brillianteen.
“Brillianteen has been a program at the YMCA for 63 years. It produces a musical every spring,” said Bronwen Sandor, Brillianteen coordinator.
Juniors and seniors get together to produce a spring musical. Last year the musical was High School Musical, this year it will be Footloose.
“You bond over things other than partying. It’s fun to be doing something with people who would usually never do theater,” added Bronwen.
For the last six years until last year, Brillianteen’s influence in the Evanston community downgraded.
“Brillianteen lost its reputation of being a good theater program and gained a reputation of being a place for students to party,” said Bronwen.
Bronwen and other volunteers always put a lot of effort to create the best show, and want to emphasize the underlying importance of Brillianteen,
“We communicated to students that they joined Brillianteen to hang with friends and show potential, not to drink and waste our time,” said Bronwen.
In order to create this change, Brillianteen moved their culture to be more about theater and leadership.
“I think the theater experience is really important because you can get out of your comfort zone without that much commitment,” said Olivia Schultze, senior.
As the major changes went into effect last year, the results were both positive and negative.
“Anytime you drastically change something, it is a big learning experience. The new drinking rule did not have an effect on the turnout,” Bronwen. “We still had 150 students participate in the program.”
However, some participants may have a different opinion.
“I understand why they needed the change, it was giving the organization a bad reputation,” said Charlotte Foucault, senior. “But a lot of students solely did Brillianteen for the parties that happen at the end of the year, so when they added the no drinking rule, participation was lost.”
Last year, Brillianteen made a conscious effort to make students more involved in the act of running the show.
“It was frustrating at first but we were able to manage our time better. People came and did what they need to do and then got to leave,” said Bronwen.
The program gives students an opportunity to meet people they would not usually meet and create a show entirely on their own.
This year, auditions will take place the first weekend of December at 12 p.m.
“Theater at ETHS might be intimidating for some people because it is so good. We’re trying to offer opportunities for people who may not be as good but are passionate for performing,” concluded Bronwen.