Whether you’re an on-stage star or just an avid spectator, the campus arts scene may have exactly what you’re looking for. From classical to cultural, poetic to pop, here is the low-down on some of GW’s largest arts-related student organizations.
14th Grade Players
Averaging about three shows a semester, this theatrical company is geared toward any student who really enjoys acting, singing, dancing or technical theater but is not immersed in the university’s Theatre and Dance program. After three years, the group has performed such plays as The Crucible and Welcome Back One Acts. Executive producer Whitney Schaffer says getting in is “not difficult at all.”
This organization is for students who want to experience Iranian and Middle Eastern culture at the university through performance art. Since 2003, Aatash has performed at a variety of university events, as well as the First Persian Parade in New York City. In order to join the group you must provide an e-mail address; however, Aatash dancers must audition.
Blazen uses performing arts to treat issues that youths deal with on a regular basis, including racism, dating violence, HIV/STD and teen pregnancy prevention. The eight-member, African-American troupe’s mission is to take the ideas that emerge from workshops and real life situations and transform them into original, issue-based poetry, drama, song and dance that will positively impact the world.
In case you’re wondering, G.O.G.A stands for “girl on girl action.” Based on a group in New York City, this is D.C.’s only all-female college improv and sketch comedy troupe. Entering its fourth year at GW, G.O.G.A. will hold auditions in September and perform throughout the semester.
Emocapella is known for rocking out to emo and other non-traditional a cappella pieces, including “Cute Without the E” by Taking Back Sunday and “Fuck Her Gently” by Tenacious D. After three years, they have been featured in “Spin,” “Blender” and “Entertainment Weekly” Magazines, sung on the stage of the 9:30 club and opened for Taking Back Sunday. “If you can sing well and have testicles, it’s not hard to get in,” founder Eric Denman said.
Generic Theatre Company
With about 400 active members and 20 years in existence, Generic is GW’s oldest and largest student performance group. Their mission is to provide fun, interesting and relevant theater to the GW community. While the company performs a variety of musicals, comedies and dramatic productions, it is known for the 24 Hours Play, where the material is written, cast, directed and performed in 24 hours. “Although our auditions are competitive, we try to accommodate as many people as possible,” said group member Hannah Weiner, who also recommended that new students audition on Sept. 7 for the annual Freshman Showcase. Auditions are on a rolling basis for each play.
Since 1990, the GW Band has given both music and non-music majors the opportunity to join a variety of ensembles from all musical periods. The organization includes a large Symphonic Band, smaller Wind Ensembles, Colonial Brass and the Basketball pep band, which plays pop rock and rhythm at every home game. Anyone can join, but seating auditions will be held Sept. 9.
This dance group was founded last year to perform the traditional dance of Bhangra in Bhangra Blowout, an annual celebration run by the South Asian Society. Currently composed of eight men and eight women, the team plans to travel around the country to various Bhangra competitions next year. Auditions will be held in September.
The first all-female a cappella group on campus usually consists of about 12 girls who sing mostly modern pop music by artists such as Sarah McLaughlin, Guster, Alanis Morisette and George Michael. At auditions held at the beginning of every semester, members look for “a variety of voices that are able to blend with the girls in the group as well as possible solo voices,” said Carol Emory, president of GW Pitches. In addition to arranging all the music themselves, members perform small gigs on campus and end each semester with a big concert.
Through regular poetry slams, open-mic nights and other hip-hop expos, liquid arts works to foster an appreciation of urban arts at GW.
Focusing on minority issues and playwrights, Majority Production’s purpose is to bring a balance to GW theater. The group has been performing theater written by minority playwrights for almost a year, including For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide, When the Rainbow is Enuf and Vagina Monologues 2004. It is the first new student theater group ever to put on three shows in one semester. The group welcomes anyone to audition or propose a play.
GW’s premiere co-ed comedy group has been around for about 13 years. Members perform improv, sketch and video routines on campus every month and have traveled to comedy festivals in New York, Boston and Los Angeles. While there is no prescribed group size, currently six males and two females are in the group.
From fine arts majors to slam poetry fanatics, Student Arts and Literature Opposing the Norm provides a forum to encourage students who wish to express themselves in any artistic way. The year-old organization welcomes all those interested to join.
Sons of Pitch
This year-old, all-male a cappella group received the 2004 Students Choice Award for Performance Group of the Year. The 13 members perform pop, classical and barbershop pieces such “I Want It That Way” and “Ave Maria.” Sons of Pitch holds auditions every semester.
Think Tank Revolution
Think Tank Revolution is the only group on campus to perform spoken word poetry. In its second semester at GW, Think Tank has had several readings where group members share individual and group pieces and encourage audience members to join in. n