Generic Greeks out

by Rachel Schlotfeldt

The latest musical production from Generic Theatre Company helped two different worlds on campus collide.

Members of the Greek community were invited to attend any of the five showings of "Songs for a New World" at the Mount Vernon Campus’ West Hall Theater. At the end, the chapter with the highest members in attendance received 25 percent of the show's total profits as a donation to their philanthropy.

“We get more people to our shows, they get publicity and are helping out a cause,” show director Shawn Kelly said.

Members of the theater troupe initiated the collaboration with Pi Kappa Alpha to increase publicity and show attendance, while also raising money for the winning Greek organization’s philanthropy.

“Reaching out to different organizations gives us the opportunity to stay relevant. As the trend increases of more and more people getting involved with Greek life, we are able to reach out to engage the students there,” Kelly said.

The unusual collaboration between organizations comes after a recent challenge issued by Dean of Students Peter Konwerski. Konwerski encouraged student organizations to partner up for large-scale events, reaching out to other groups that haven’t previously worked together.

“The Greek system can have an insulating effect on some of the members, so this is a good way for Greek life to reach out to other student organizations,” said junior and Pi Kappa Alpha member Daniel Creamer.

Creamer said the chapter utilized Facebook and sorority and fraternity listservs to promote the event to other Greek life organizations.

Kappa Sigma walked away with the highest attendance numbers, bringing 10 members to the weekend's shows.

Mike Adam, a Kappa Sigma pledge, performed in the musical production and fellow Kappa Sigma member Michael Martone said their chapter's high attendance rate helped support both Adam and their philanthropy, the Fisher House Foundation.

Martone explained that the Fisher House Foundation provides free housing for the families of wounded or ill veterans close to the hospitals or medical centers where their loved ones are recovering.

“It was a great idea on the part of Greek life to partner up with Generic Theatre,” Martone said. “I think it’s a credit to the whole Greek community that so many members from ours and other chapters attended the production.”

This wasn’t the first time Martone had experienced a GW theater production, but he said this particular show was really enjoyable and well put together.

Martone said the theater was full the night he attended, attracting a “great number of members from the Greek community.”

“Songs for a New World,” echoes the partnership’s message of goodwill.

The abstract eight-person musical consists of collected experiences spanning from over 500 years ago up to present day, and features musical numbers that blend multiple genres including pop, gospel, jazz and classical.

Without a central plot, clear location or setting, the musical’s theme is instead the narratives' common thread.

This post was updated October 12, 2011 to reflect the following:
The Hatchet incorrectly reported that "Songs of a New World is a four-person musical. In fact, Generic Theatre Company's production is an eight-person musical.

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