Campus Culture

GW students constantly hear how fortunate they are to be going to school in Washington D.C. There’s politics. There’s internships. Then there’s more politics.

But students living in the District are blessed in yet another way. There’s also the arts.

With The Kennedy Center literally in GW’s backyard, the National and Warner theaters a Metro ride away and numerous smaller theaters like the Studio and Arena, spectacular plays and musicals are easy to come by. As for museums, all that needs to be said is one word – Smithsonian.

Yet, few GW students take advantage of these opportunities to add a splash of culture to their lives while in D.C. The excuses are numerous and to some extent true. Walking to the Mall to hit the National Gallery may seem too time-consuming. College students claim to be paupers, so pricey tickets for a night of entertainment at the Kennedy Center can make you feel like you’re spending too much in one place.

Still, there is no excuse to go through four years at GW and not enjoy the arts. This is where the performances and exhibits that take place at GW come into play. They are literally a hop, skip and a jump away. Most performances and exhibits are not expensive, thanks to your nifty GWorld card. And above all, they are quality shows.

Dimock Gallery

Tucked away beneath Lisner Auditorium, the Dimock Gallery is easily forgotten. Who knew there was life down below the auditorium? Each year, the Dimock Gallery hosts between six and eight exhibitions, including those which feature works by students, faculty and alumni.

Although the famous D.C. museums have quite an appeal, this small gallery still offers a great experience. The friendly staff is eager to help make a trip to the Dimock Gallery a personal and enjoyable experience. The Dimock Gallery allows the public to enjoy fabulous art for free.

The first exhibition of the fall semester in the gallery is “`Japonisme’ and Japanese Printmaking.” Through prints on loan from the Washington Print Club, the exhibit explores the roots of 20th century Japanese art. The Japanese art of woodblock prints will be highlighted with works by Yoshitoshi, Hokusai and Saito.

As its name suggests, the exhibit also displays Japonisme, which is defined as a “Western preoccupation with and influenced by things Japanese.” The exhibition includes works by both Western and Japanese artists from the 19th and 20th centuries. “`Japonisme’ and Japanese Printmaking” runs from Sept. 9 through Oct. 31.

The Dimock Gallery will host the “Annual Student Show” Nov. 11. The exhibition showcases the work of fine arts undergraduate and graduate students. The show includes various media, including ceramics, drawing, painting and visual communications. It is a wonderful opportunity to witness the talents of other GW students. The exhibition will run through Dec. 3.

Lisner Auditorium

Lisner hosts many amazing performances throughout the year. With a valid GW I.D., students pay a minimal price and, in return, witness a spectacular show. The performances vary greatly, from dance to musical concerts to lectures.

The Mathilde Monnier Dance Company will perform Pour Antigone Oct. 2. In the innovative performance, Monnier combines the movement and music of Burkina Faso and Mali with French dance to interpret the famous tale of Antigone. The admission price for students is $8.

The winner of the Plaza de la Raza’s 1993 Nuevo Chicano Playwrights Competition, “The Last Angry Brown Hat” by Alfredo Ramos, will be performed Oct. 3. The play follows four Chicanos, all ex-members of the Brown Beret, who gather together after their friend’s funeral. In the powerful show, the characters confront their pasts and look to their futures. Tickets are free but are required to attend. Tickets are available at Lisner Auditorium box office Sept. 15.

Orquesta Ibrah?m Ferrer and Rub?n Gonz?lez y su grupo recently stepped into the spotlight. With their Afro-Cuban melodies and intriguing Cuban beats, Ferrer and Gonz?lez are hard to resist. They will perform Oct. 20. Tickets are $15 for students.

Cesaria Evora brings her exhilarating voice to Lisner Oct. 22. Evora can be heard belting “Besame Mucho” on the Great Expectations soundtrack. Her voice is unbelievably recognizable. During this performance, she will be crooning the music from her latest album, Caf? Atlantico. Student tickets are $15.

The shows listed above are a few of the many shows performed at Lisner Auditorium during the fall semester. While these shows have a Latin American theme, a variety of performers from several genres will grace Lisner’s stage throughout the year.

Department of Theatre and Dance

Another way to witness the talents of GW students is by attending a performance by the GW Department of Theatre and Dance. During the fall semester, there will be two plays and one dance concert. Individual tickets cost between $8 and $10. For $35, students can purchase a season subscription, which includes a ticket to each of the six shows.

The Department of Theatre and Dance opens the semester with “Baby with the Bath Water,” a play by Christophen Durang. The show will be performed at the Hand Chapel at Mount Vernon College Sept. 30 to Oct. 2. More performances will take place at the Marvin Center theater Oct. 7 to 9.

Recently released on the big screen, William Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” will be performed at the Marvin Center theater Nov. 4 to 7.

The Department of Theatre and Dance will end its fall semester performances with the Fall Dance Concert. The show will occur Nov. 18 to 20 in the Marvin Center theater.

With so many opportunities to explore the arts on campus, GW students have little excuse not to get a good dose of culture this semester. Free in some cases and a mere pittance in others, on-campus performances offer more than you would expect.

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