Two Kinsmen club members suffered mishap in Gamma Sigma Phi’s Revolutionary War heroes Sing Song act this weekend. Jacob Groves plummeted 10 feet from the stage during Friday’s performance, and Jason Rasco took a hit to the face when one of the club’s air cannons went off unexpectedly before Saturday’s 2 p.m. show, breaking his jaw, knocking out six teeth and requiring eight stitches during a trip to a local hospital.
Groves, junior marketing major from Lubbock, fell off the right side of the stage while adjusting a cannon prop. Groves said he stepped on a curtain he thought was part of the stage. The curtain was acting as a makeshift roof over a makeup room behind the stage.
“I took a different route to my prop and stepped through a curtain that looked level and fell to the ground,” Groves said. “I landed on my butt, and on impact I bit my tongue. I was in a lot of pain for about 30 seconds.”
GSP director Colin Barnard, senior political science major from Washington D.C., said he saw Groves fall.
“It was on the front of the stage that has a curtain below that separates the band and stage, it looks like there is a place to stand there, but it’s just air below,” Barnard said. “He stepped in front of the cannon, and there was nothing there.”
Sing Song hostess Carlee Cagle, senior musical theatre major from Arlington, was backstage getting ready for a duet when Groves fell.
“I was getting ready, and then – Oh my gosh – I saw a guy lying on the floor in his colonial soldier suit,” Cagle said. “He fell off the stage and was just lying there. We couldn’t freak out because we had to keep doing our performance.”
Tom Craig, director of student productions, said extra measures were taken to ensure no more accidents occured, and the production team staffed people on stage to help performers stay away from the edge.
“We have taken every precautionary measure you can imagine,” Craig said. “We’re going to be ramping it up even more now.”
Barnard said he went back to see Groves after their act and said Groves was lucid and talking. Groves resumed his role, working with the cannons for Saturday’s show, when Rasco would experience fresh calamity.
One of the air cannons used in Friday’s show had to be replaced, Barnard said. But as Rasco, junior criminal science major from Abilene, was filling the new tank with compressed air, the cannon’s side split, causing the recoiling prop to hit Rasco’s face.
The incident left Rasco with a broken jaw, missing six teeth and requiring eight stitches, and “there was a lot of blood,” Barnard said.
Despite the incidents, GSP managed to claim second place for originality on Friday and first place for appearance during Saturday’s afternoon performance.
Barnard said he did not think very many people saw Groves fall, and so any effect on the club’s show was minimal.
“I know for the people close to his side, it was probably very distracting,” Barnard said. “He was so far off to the side, and he fell so quickly; I don’t think many people saw it.”
While Barnard had worried Rasco’s accident might shake the club’s performance, he said the club perservered admirably, singing one of its better shows.
“I had worried that it would be discouraging, but despite that, we came through,” Barnard said. “Jason’s ok. He’s doing great, and we’re ready to go.”
After the Saturday afternoon show, GSP replaced its air cannons with a more controllable prop.
“We’re trying something different and much safer,” Barnard said.
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