By: Jessica Ricks, Staff Writer
After weeks of posters, notes written on whiteboards and chalking all over campus, students were finally able to find out what “MAZE” was on Thursday, Oct. 15.
MAZE is an illusion show, created by Jim Monroe, which was first performed by Monroe on campus in 2010.
The performance was sponsored by the Towson club Cru, and involved many student volunteers in promoting the show, ushering and helping with a program at the end of the show called “Be the Match,” a bone marrow transplant registry that students had the opportunity to sign up for.
Throughout the show, Monroe chose random unsuspecting audience members to come onstage and be a part of his various illusion tricks. For one trick he had an audience member pick random numbers between one and 60. No one knew what numbers he would pick and he changed his answers several times.
However, Monroe somehow knew beforehand what numbers would be chosen before the audience member said them. MAZE was more than just an illusion show. During the second half of the show, Monroe told the story of his battle with cancer.
“His story comes out and he can really connect with people,” Jimmy Warner, a MAZE staff member, said. “I think it’s more than just a performance.”
Just a few years prior to creating MAZE, Monroe was suddenly diagnosed with a fatal form of Leukemia and was told he only had a few months to live. He went through chemotherapy and had to watch his life slowly disappear before his eyes.
The only way he could be saved was to have a bone marrow transplant. However, chances of getting a match were very slim. Out of nine million people registered as donors in the whole world, there were only 16 that possibly matched with him and only one who matched perfectly.
Then one day, he got a call from his doctor saying that there was a willing donor.
Throughout the story he showed various pictures of his time in the hospital, sick and weak from chemotherapy, as well as a video of himself meeting the girl who had given him the bone marrow transplant after he had been cured.
“My favorite part was when he shared his story,” sophomore accounting major, Jasmin Grewal, said. “It showed that he was vulnerable and that he really wanted to connect with us.”
Monroe’s traumatic experience gave him a new outlook on life and a newfound belief in God, which gave rise to creating MAZE. The ‘maze’ is an analogy for life itself.
“What if the answer to all of your questions in the maze was staring at you right in the face?” Monroe asked. “But because you don’t know what to look for, you can’t put your circumstances in front of it and you are unable to see how all of your circumstances work together to fill the rest of the puzzle that this missing piece is intended to fit?”