On Oct. 30, Lewis Black, a nationally recognized comedian who appears on “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart,” will bring his act to Lawrence. Black, who has been called “America’s foremost commentator on everything,” will perform in the Memorial Chapel to a sold-out crowd. Who’s responsible for this coup in university programming? SOUP.
SOUP, the Student Organization for University Programming, is in charge of providing entertainment for the Lawrence community. In addition to booking big acts like Lewis Black, SOUP committees organize the coffeehouse performances and other acts around campus, such as yearly appearances by hypnotists. SOUP is also in charge of annual events like Celebrate!, the Winter Formal, Homecoming, and Mardi Gras.
To book someone like Lewis Black, SOUP representatives go to the National Association for Student Activities conference every spring. There they see various acts that tour college campuses and decide among the hundreds of available performers which ones the Lawrence community would most like to see.
The appearance of a big name like Lewis Black this year is a little unusual. In the past, SOUP has booked a number of smaller acts, mostly in the coffeehouse and in smaller venues around campus. Last year, however, when LUCC was allocating funds to different organizations, they earmarked some of SOUP’s funds for big events. Lewis Black is one of these, and another major performer is coming later this year.
SOUP is forming a new committee to decide who this next big act will be, and encourages everyone who is interested to join. SOUP’s public relations coordinator, Bryana Henderson, says that SOUP “wants to find an act that is representative of what the entire campus is interested in.”
If you would like to be a part of this committee or any others, SOUP meetings are held Tuesday nights at 8 p.m. in the LUCC conference room in the Union. You can find more information about SOUP and a schedule of upcoming acts at their website, www.lawrence.edu/sorg/soup.