With 2018 concluding today, take a moment to read some of the projects and reflections of our Executive Producer Cameron Bell (COL '19) from the past year and what to look forward to for 2019:
As we all find ourselves basking in the thoughtful afterglow of another holiday season, I’ve been thinking a lot about how grateful I am for my Mask & Bauble family. So, I was thrilled to be asked to share some of my reflections on our final Mask & Bloggle(!) post of 2018. This year, like any other year, was a long one, but I’ll try to keep things short so you can go back to your scrolling.
I started this year in an appropriately hectic state: I was a producer heading straight into tech week for Mr. Burns, a post-electric play, our co-production with Nomadic. Then before I knew it, February was upon us, and I was utterly honored to be elected as the following season’s Executive Producer. EP was a role I had idolized since my freshman year, and with a recent co-production and a year of experience on the Executive Board under my belt, I thought I knew exactly what I was getting myself into. But is that literally ever the case? No!!!
From elections we headed straight into season planning, where I along with members of Boards 166 and 167 put together a lineup of shows that are grounded in M&B’s core identity of student written works, classics, and musicals while incorporating new and innovative features informed by our modern context. We started with our annual Donn B. Murphy One Acts Festival featuring Four Lemons and a Funeral by Allison Lane and Hazel & Stanley by Timmy Sutton. While DBMOAF isn’t normally the season’s first mainstage, we decided to open with it this year in the hopes of making it our principle community-building show. Additionally, in Hazel & Stanley we incorporated projections in Stage III to an unprecedented extent. We continued to challenge ourselves (and our tech directors, bless them) by staging A Midsummer Night’s Dream(modernized to Washington DC, 1968) in the round - a feat which hasn’t been attempted for an M&B mainstage in almost 10 years.
On a more personal note, my term as EP so far has been comprised of some of the most rewarding, challenging, and humbling experiences of my life. I’ve watched directing staffs, designers, their assistants, and actors share in successes that have even gone on to inspire and invigorate others watching them. I’ve seen new members, some freshmen, some not, come out of their shells and become part of our community. I’ve survived some late nights during tech weeks in Poulton, and sometimes I wasn’t the last one out the door. I’ve learned from mistakes, and worked towards preserving and passing down those lessons to future leadership. Most importantly, I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about what it means to be a part of such a large and longstanding community on Georgetown’s campus. Some of my favorite moments this past year came out of interacting with our alums. Even though many of them graduated from Georgetown before I set foot on campus (or some before I was even born!), it’s so awesome to share an instant connection with them through M&B. I’ve had so much fun hearing their stories, watching their performances around DC, and even engaging in conversations about how we can expand and strengthen our alumni network and make it more accessible for both current members and alums (check out www.georgetowntheatrealliance.com for more on that!).
Looking ahead, we’re well underway on Speech & Debate, our co-production with the Department of Performing Arts; with it, we’re excited to show audiences a script previously unseen on Georgetown’s campus aided by the notable technical resources and expertise we’ve gotten from working with the Department of Performing Arts. Finally, in April, we’ll show our musical, Hello Again; also a new script to Georgetown and one that we hope will inspire conversations around sexuality that are largely avoided or ignored. It’s hard to believe the season is halfway over already, but I’m so excited for what’s in store over the next few months!
My 2018 was a year full of theater, music, and gratitude thanks to Mask & Bauble. I couldn’t be more excited for what’s to come as we continue Season 167 and start looking towards the future (Season 168 and beyond!) as we head into 2019.