GTA Hosts First Alumni Homecoming Reception
By Julia Usiak
“It’s about awareness for this newly revived theater community we’re trying to create, called Georgetown Theater Alliance,” says Mask & Bauble Executive Producer Cameron Bell, a senior Biology of Global Health major and a current Georgetown Theater Alliance (GTA) member, as she looks around at the lobby of Davis Performing Arts Center.
The Georgetown Theater Alliance Reception, which occured Friday, Sept. 21 featured around fifty past and present members of the Georgetown theater community. Bell, 21, watches alumni trickle back home to the stages, greenrooms, and tech booths of their college years.
At the door, alums and students alike create name tags, decorating the typical “Hi, My Name Is _____” tags with a series of colored stars. These starts symbolize the theater groups to which they belonged. A different color for each Mask & Bauble Dramatic Society, the Black Theatre Ensemble, Nomadic Theatre, Georgetown Improv Association, the Theatre & Performance Studies Program and the Georgetown Children’s Theater glitter under the lobby lights, proudly displayed on alumni who chat over plates of Safeway cookies with current, inquisitive students.
Bell, the student who helped organize the GTA event, continues, pointing out various alumni that litter the crowd. The Arena Stage’s former literary manager finishes her lemonade before laughing with a Mask & Bauble alumnus taking their MCATs this fall. Another alumus, Michael Donnay, hired by the University to stage manage the Department’s fall main stage show, steals a cookie as he chats with Ron Lignelli, the Administrative Director of the Davis Performing Arts Center. Bell snorts as she even prattles off seven Nomadic alumni that traded in their sound and lighting design experience to work on Wall Street.
“So much of the community really isn’t looking to do theater professionally. The majority just does theater as a passion,” says Bell, noting that only one of the seven board members of Mask and Bauble is a Theater major.
“But there are some alumni that are involved in professional theater, and that’s cool for students to hear, because then it’s a motivational, ‘oh, people from Georgetown can get jobs in theater!’ says Bell, laughing about how her parents warned her she could never get a job with a performing arts degree. The goal of GTA, she states, is to create a better network for the students and alumni interested in the performing arts, similar to the networks available to Georgetown students for banking or consulting. She views the reception as the first of many small steps to start building that community beyond campus.
This sentiment is echoed by another member of the GTA Michael Donnay. “Our hope is that we can start building those really lovely informal connections between alumni and students that pop up when you start to talk to someone,” states Donnay, regarding the cheerful din that echoes around the wood-columned lobby hallway.