Tonight I went on a tour of campus, but not the sort of tour that you’ll go on with student ambassadors from the admissions office. Instead, this tour was a ghost tour of McDaniel, and I really enjoyed it.
When I heard that Alpha Psi Omega, the National Theater Honor Society on campus, was putting on ghost tours last night and tonight, I knew I had to go, especially since I enjoyed the ghost tour I took of Westminster last month (which I wrote about here). Though urban legends and folklore exist on campus, I’d never really heard any of these stories and wanted to learn about them.
Tonight was a perfect night for a ghost tour too. It was pleasantly warm outside, which isn’t so spooky, but the fogginess of the night contributed to an ideal atmosphere. Our tour was led by two theater students who were very familiar with the stories and even claim to have experienced paranormal activities themselves. Theater majors supposedly encounter ghosts a lot, since the theater boasts three ghosts. They think their ghosts are pretty friendly though, especially one named Harvey, who watches out for crew members when they do lighting and likes to watch rehearsals.
A lot of the stories that have been passed down over the years seem a little outlandish, and I’m a little skeptical about them. I think I’m going to have to do a little research to see how these legends originated. Still, I found the stories to be really interesting, and going on the tour was a great way to spend part of my evening.
And don’t worry–chances are, you’ll never encounter a ghost on campus. Unless you look for them…
This evening, I went with a bunch of friends to see the famed musical Hairspray, McDaniel College Theatre’s first production of the semester. People around campus really liked last night’s opening performance, so I knew I was in for a good show tonight. It did not disappoint!
I’ll admit that I wasn’t a huge fan of the movie version of Hairspray that came out a few years back, but seeing the show performed on the McDaniel stage was so much better! I highly enjoyed the show itself, and as a wonderful added bonus, I got to see several memorable performances–many from people I know from around campus. I was also pleased to see many people in the show who I had not previously seen in a McDaniel production before and who are not theater majors. (If you’ve ever been interested in theater, college is a great place to try it out!) And I was super impressed by some of the vocals, particularly those of the girl who played Motormouth Maybelle.
The cast and crew of Hairspray has worked hard to put this show together since practically the beginning of the semester. They’ve put in plenty of long hours and sacrifice a lot of sleep and free time in order for the show to be a success, so I was glad to see that their hard work truly paid off.
Congratulations to everyone involved in Hairspray on a fantastic and memorable performance!
The McDaniel theater program is known for putting on quality performances. Generally the performances are dramas but the program puts on one or two musicals a year. This year’s choice was Hairspray, starring my friend Kelsey Gondek as Tracy Turnblad. Of course, I knew other members of the cast and they were all excellent, but I was most impressed by Kelsey. You get to know a person around campus just by sight and through small talk, but you never really see their true capability until you see them in their element. Kelsey was in her element. I didn’t know the person I was watching on stage; she became Tracy Turnblad and that is just one of the nice parts of the theater program: it allows you to see aspects of people you didn’t know existed.
I saw the performance last Thursday with my friends Barnabas and Jon and was awed by the professional quality with which some of the numbers were executed. I suppose when you go to a school production of almost any musical, there is always an element of expectation resting in the back of your mind that the show will not be enjoyable. If I’m being honest, I came into the performance with this mindset. When that curtain opened I was expecting a tone-deaf recreation of the movie’s poppy opening song “Good Morning, Baltimore.” However, Kelsey appears lying in her bed singing, hitting every note perfectly and starts the musical off in a great, upbeat fashion.
The rest of the musical was all well done. The best number was, as usual to this musical, “Momma I’m a Big Girl Now.” Something about that 50s doo-wop style of music appeals to me, and clearly I wasn’t alone because the music had everyone in Alumni Hall dancing in their seats. From the shows I have seen the theatre program put on, I could tell that this performance was better than the rest.
Hairspray is a great example of activities to do during the week at McDaniel. The theatre puts on many different shows during both the Fall and Spring semesters, not to mention countless student run performances. Cocktails and Tails From the Clit are both student-run sketch-comedy shows that talk about the triviums of being men and women respectively and there is also an improv comedy group that has shows from time to time. Theatre is a great activity to either become involved in, or of which to become a regular attendee.