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UMPI showcases L.A. comedian, campus acts during Variety Show

The University of Maine at Presque Isle will present a night of comedy plus a whole lot of talent when it hosts UMPI’s First Annual Variety Show on Thursday, Feb. 28 at 6 p.m. in the Auditorium in Wieden Hall. This family-friendly Variety Show will feature acts by students, faculty, and staff, and will be hosted by Los Angeles-based stand-up comedian, actor, and voice actor Justin Rupple. This event is free and open to the public.

“We wanted to host this event to showcase some of the great talent we have right here at UMPI and wanted to add an extra layer of entertainment by having Justin Rupple emcee the event,” Violet Washburn, UMPI Coordinator of Campus Engagement, said. “Justin Rupple is hilarious and the acts we have lined up are excellent. This is a show you don’t want to miss!”

Justin Rupple has established himself as a great act in the comedy world, with his impressions featured on the USA show First Impressions with Dana Carvey. He also appeared in the film Operation Chromite, starring alongside Liam Neeson. His most recent film work was voicing the character Tuffnut in the movie How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World.

In addition to Rupple’s role as the evening’s emcee and house comedian, the variety show will feature 10 acts spotlighting a wide range of talents, including singing, dancing, musicianship, slam poetry, and yo-yo tricks. There will also be an act featuring the three-stringed Greek lyra and another showcasing a contortionist.

Four judges, with representation from faculty, staff, students, and alumni, will review these acts. Judges will select best overall act and most original act. Those attending the event will determine the audience choice act.

UMPI’s Business Club will provide popcorn and candy concessions at the show as a fundraiser. As a special treat for a few lucky attendees, UMPI’s Student Activities Office is raffling off a “Best Seat in the House” package and an UMPI inspired gift basket. Raffle tickets are free, though how attendees can get them will be revealed the night of the show.

“We’re so excited to bring this new event to the area and to offer up an evening with so many different types of entertainment woven in,” Washburn said. “This is truly a family affair and we encourage everyone to come on out and enjoy the show!”

For more information about this free event, please contact Violet Washburn at 768-9582 or umpi-engagement@maine.edu.