Dorothea Rockburne discusses mathematical artistic influences
Although art and mathematics are often thought of as incompatible disciplines, artist Dorothea Rockburne draws from both fields. Rockburne, an abstract painter, is heavily influenced by mathematical concepts.
Rockburne presented a lecture entitled “Materializing Mathematical Concepts into Visual Art” on Monday evening. During her speech, she discussed her life, inspirations, techniques and viewpoints.
“When I taught, I always said that being an artist is like having a dog in New York. If you don’t have to do it, don’t do it,” she said.
However, Rockburne’s passion for art trumped the many challenges she faced while embarking on her career.
“I was working all kinds of jobs at once, plus I had a child,” said Rockburne. “I didn’t have the money to buy art supplies—they’re expensive. I went across the street to the hardware store and bought gallons of crude oil.”
Rockburne, whose exhibit “A Gift of Knowing: The Art of Dorothea Rockburne” is currently on display at the Bowdoin College Museum of Art, has utilized many non-traditional methods in her work.
“This particular show relates to works in our collection, that’s for sure,” said Joachim Homann, the curator of the Museum. “We have the expertise to show [Rockburne’s] work, but the motivation to show this exhibition, really, is the academic involvement that it generates.”
Rockburne was brought to Bowdoin by Professor of Mathematics Jennifer Taback through a mutual friend, Dave Peifer, a professor of mathematics at the University of North Carolina Asheville. Peifer has researched the works of Max Dehn, a prominent geometrist and expert in topology; Dehn was one of Rockburne’s teachers at Black Mountain College.
“Certainly [Rockburne] says [Dehn] influenced her,” said Peifer, noting Dehn’s influence on many different artists in the subject areas of topology and geometry.
“One of the reasons I’m so really thrilled to be here is that most mathematicians, not all, do not understand what I’m doing, nor do critics,” Rockburne said. “They think it’s beautiful work they’re looking at and that’s not interesting to me. I’m interested in finding out about how the universe ticks, and I’m getting there my way.”
In addition to the visual arts and mathematics departments, the Department of Theater and Dance explored the concepts in Rockburne’s work. Students in Assistant Professor of Dance Charlotte Griffin’s Making Dances course analyzed Rockburne’s paintings and responded to them through dance.
“It was a really cool experience because everything that we normally do is so focused on the physical,” said Lily Bailey ’18. “It was cool to take something that was two dimensional and not bodily and then turn it into [dance].”
Traveling in Maine with close friends last summer inspired Rockburne’s recent drawing, “The Mathematical Edges of Maine.”
“We drove everywhere in western Maine and it was so beautiful,” said Rockburne. “I was looking at the edges of trees, the edges of sky and the edges of small mountains. I began to work in the hotel room and it just came out.”
Rockburne’s exhibition, featuring works from the 1970s through 2014, will remain on display at the Bowdoin College Museum of Art through Sunday.
Sports teams work toward green goals
All varsity and large club sports teams were challenged to complete a series of five environmentally-conscious tasks as part of a new Efficiency Initiative Team Challenge, launched this year by the Office of Sustainability and the Athletics Department.
Although only the women’s volleyball, men’s ice hockey and squash teams have completed all five tasks as well as an Above and Beyond challenge, the initiative’s creators are optimistic about its future.
“We have someone who is knowledgeable about a sport tailor the goals to that sport,” said Emma Chow ’15. “For men’s hockey, we can say ‘Is it doable to go trayless for a week? Is it doable to go trayless for a day?’ We want to give them something that’s achievable but still going to stretch them a little bit.”
Chow, along with fellow seniors Emi Gaal and Tori Munson and junior Lela Garner—who works directly in the sustainability office as the representative for Green Athletics—has led the challenge during its debut year.
Green Athletics has existed since 2011, but the initiative’s founders wanted to take its mission a step further. After brainstorming the idea last spring, the group’s leaders worked out logistics with Ashmead White Director of Athletics Tim Ryan and Coordinator for a Sustainable Bowdoin Keisha Payson to finalize plans for the year.
“We all saw that there were so many tiny things that we do every day,” said Gaal. “That kind of fueled the club to begin. Just going through athletics and helping varsity athletes and some of the larger club sports participate in this program gets them thinking about these things day to day and as a group, and hopefully that is just one step for the college to move forward in changing people’s mindsets and helping understand that they can do little things.”
The tasks were decided upon at the beginning of each season and customized to fit team’s specific needs and desires. The teams’ progress is tracked on the Green Athletics website as well as on a display board in the Peter Buck Center for Health and Fitness.
In order to encourage teams to participate in the challenge, every team that completes all five challenges will be invited to a pub night featuring music and free food.
Another key feature of the challenge is its Above and Beyond component. The Above and Beyond program encourages teams and athletes to exceed their challenges’ requirements. Each Above and Beyond task is given a point value depending on its level of intensity.
“Those are really opportunities for teams to take initiative on their own, so it would be really nice to see more teams engage in that aspect and get excited because they can do cool things like fundraisers and different events,” said Chow.
The winners of the Above and Beyond challenge will receive a gift card for Atayne, a sustainably-sourced athletic wear company founded by a Bowdoin alumnus. The gift card is for use for the team as a whole and will further take the challenge’s step of environmental consciousness while providing incentive for teams.
Going forward, the initiative hopes to achieve total participation, including in the Above and Beyond challenge. This would then facilitate the ultimate goal of campus-wide awareness of the issue and participation in environmentally-friendly measures.
“I think I’m excited to have the annual award winner announced by Tim Ryan at the end of year athletic banquet, so just having athletics back us really legitimizes everything and makes teams feel more compelled to participate,” said Chow.
‘Light/Dark’ experimental show: a departure from traditional plays
“Light/Dark”—which opened last night—explores one of the most crucial aspects of any theater performance: light.
Sponsored by the Department of Theater and Dance and directed by Professor of Theater Davis Robinson, “Light/Dark” experiments with the role of light in theater, poetry, dance and science. Robinson produced the show with his longtime friend, Tony Award-winning lighting designer Chris Akerlind.
“We found this play, ‘Middletown,’ which we both really liked as being something that is very open. [It] lets you focus on the people and how they’re affected and the references of lightness and darkness,” Robinson said.
Robinson and Akerlind worked with students in Robinson’s class, Theater Topics: Action, Light, and Meaning in addition to students outside of the class who work for the department.
“Middletown” tells the tale of a seemingly average American town and how its residents interact with one another in their daily lives, which often intersect in unforeseen ways. Those involved with “Light/Dark” have taken great liberty with the show’s scenes in order to more deeply examine and emphasize the power of light.
“Most of the time, a playwright will give you her or his play and then there’s a great deal of sense of respect for that,” Akerlind said. “In this, the entire company are the writers in a weird way so we’re not subservient to some writer, even though the event sort of revolves around one play that shows up a lot. That’s the spine of it, but it’s not the totality of it.”
Monique Lillis ’17 plays Mary Swanson, a woman who just moved to the town. “It’s really exciting to devise your own play because you get to try out a bunch of pieces and see how they fit together,” Lillis said. “There was a lot of material we tried at the very beginning of the semester that just got scrapped because it didn’t fit in with the show or it didn’t go with our final idea of what we wanted.”
The cast and crew—in total 12 actors and 10 stagehands—have been working up to 20-hour weeks for the past month.
For audience members, the experience begins before the show starts. Robinson and Ackerlind chose to begin the narrative in the lobby, where attendees will be greeted by shadow puppetry. From there, showgoers are led up Pickard Theater’s back staircase on a tour of the exposed theater, where multiple lighting elements will set the stage.
“And then when the actual journey begins, it really is a journey. They need to go up those stairwells so that they enter the space and see it from three floors up and see all three floors activated at the same time,” Robinson said.
From there, the audience will be seated very close to the stage. The show both begins and ends with elements related to black holes, which Robinson connects to “life and death and bigger and bigger issues.”
While the show presents light one way, audience members as well as the cast and crew are likely to have different interpretations of its meaning.
“Your initial thought is that light is good and darkness is bad, but one of my favorite images that didn’t make it into the final cut was one of the guys sitting in the woods just encompassed by the darkness but feeling really at home,” Lillis said. “[It showed] the idea that darkness can actually be warmth as well as welcoming and that some things stay in the dark and are secret and better that way and sometimes how light can be so harsh.”
“Light/Dark” runs for 75 minutes and will be performed in Wish Theater. Tonight’s and tomorrow night’s 7 p.m. showings are sold out, but a limited number of tickets will be available at the door. The portion of the show located in the theater’s lobby will begin around 6:40 p.m.
‘Dead Man’s Cell Phone’ premieres after one month of intensive prep
In today’s world, technology often outlives its owners. Such is the case in Sarah Ruhl’s “Dead Man’s Cell Phone,” a play being performed on campus this weekend.
Masque & Gown’s production of “Dead Man’s Cell Phone” shows just how complicated this occurrence can be, as follows the life of a cell phone after the death of the titular character, Gordon.
“[The play] starts off with a woman in a café who gets fed up with listening to a man’s cell phone ring so she takes charge and answers it herself,” said Lane Sturtevant ’15, one of the co-directors of the show. “She realizes that the man is actually dead so she makes the decision to keep the phone and as a result becomes very involved with his family, his wife, his lover, his mother, his brother, and the play just sort of follows that.”
The show’s cast of six students and production crew of around 20 have been working on an almost daily basis since Winter Break. The co-directors of the show, Sturtevant and Noah Bragg ’15, have worked hard to deal with the limited timetable.
“We work at such a furious pace to get everything rehearsed,” Bragg said. “You just want everything to be perfect, you want the actors to be perfect and you know it’s not going to be perfect. You just work and you sort of get caught up and then you see the whole thing come together and an actor does something you didn’t expect that you hadn’t done in rehearsal that just works beautifully.”
This is Sturvetant’s first experience with acting and directing at Bowdoin. Having been previously exposed to Ruhl’s work, Sturtevant was keen to direct one of her plays.
“I’d been reading a lot of Sarah Ruhl and I liked her humor and her playfulness and I wanted to direct a play by a contemporary woman playwright for Masque & Gown,” Sturtevant said.
The leaders of Masque & Gown recommended that Sturtevant co-direct the show with Bragg, who had previously acted in one of Ruhl’s other works.
Having acted in Masque & Gown’s fall show, “Almost, Maine,” first year Rowan Staley knew immediately that she wanted to audition for “Dead Man’s Cell Phone.” Staley portrays Mrs. Gottlieb, Gordon’s mother. Her role as the “matriarch of the Gottlieb clan” is very dissimilar from that which she usually plays, presenting both challenges and good experiences.
“The most rewarding thing has been playing a character who is so different from myself,” Staley said. “I’ve never played a role that’s this unusual before. I’ve had to stretch myself a lot and the directors have been great in helping me do that.”
After just about one month’s time, the show’s cast and crew are ready to showcase their work to the public.
“[Before the show], you get a lot of adrenaline and everyone’s really excited and hyped up so there’s a lot of fun pre-show rituals like playing loud music in the dressing room,” Staley said.In addition to last night’s performance, “Dead Man’s Cell Phone” will be performed at Pickard Theatre tonight and tomorrow. The show begins at 7:30 p.m. and lasts around two hours. Tickets can be bought at the David Saul Smith Union info desk for $1 with a Bowdoin ID.
Mind the Gap: DiPrinzio ’18 takes gourmet gap year
When most people think of enjoyable gap years, they likely do not picture working 12 hour shifts, six days a week. That is exactly what first year Harry DiPrinzio envisioned, however.
In the year before coming to Bowdoin, DiPrinzio spent his time working in restaurants in New York City and Paris. In September, he began by working at New York’s Michelin star-winning Gramercy Tavern.
Having long been a fan of cooking and gastronomy, DiPrinzio had always planned to work in a restaurant before college.
“I worked in restaurants in the two summers during high school and I think at some point during junior year I realized that I could [take a gap year] and basically just started thinking about it,” he said.
At Gramercy he was an extern—a position often filled by culinary school students fulfilling their on-site hours.
“I put away produce,” said DiPrinzio. “They get thousands of pounds of produce a day and it all has to be put away and sorted, so I started doing that.”
As time went on, DiPrinzio worked his way up Gramercy Tavern’s ladder. He started helping out at lunch service by performing tasks such as shucking oysters and slicing bread. Soon after, DiPrinzio was able to secure a spot on the cold appetizer station during weekend shifts.
“The days were action packed,” said DiPrinzio. “I was always running around and incredibly tired and adrenaline filled.”
During his time at Gramercy, DiPrinzio lived at his home. However, he knew he wanted to gain a more international experience during his year. That January, he accepted an opportunity to work at a Parisian restaurant.
“There was a chef in Paris who had worked at Gramercy and the chef at Gramercy sent me to the Paris guy and said, ‘He wants to go to Paris,’” he said.
DiPrinzio was able to spend his whole time in France—about two and a half months—at the same restaurant after taking the spot of a recently hired employee who left.
During his time in Paris DiPrinzio was able to explore, but it was often difficult. He worked 16 hour days five days a week while also trying to figure out his surroundings.
“Just being alone in Paris was definitely a different scenario,” said DiPrinzio.
Perhaps one of his biggest struggles was finding a place to live. After staying with a friend for a few days, he began to search for a place to live more independently. Eventually, he ended up renting a room in a couple’s home.
“I messaged all these people and some of them got back to me. I went and visited one of them and it was like the biggest shithole ever,” he said. “[But] this one seemed nice. It was in a really nice neighbourhood. They were friendly, but the kind of dynamic was weird. The reason I was living in their lives was because they needed more money. They kind of resented me.”
After returning from Paris, DiPrinzio was ready for what lay ahead. Some students may find adjusting back to an academic life difficult after a gap year. DiPrinzio, however, said he has not struggled very much in his first year at Bowdoin.
“I wasn’t around people last year, so it’s nice to be with people my age again and it’s been nice to go back to school and take classes.”
DiPrinzio’s year between high school and college was a preview of life in the real world. While he encountered challenges—from being by far the youngest employee at Gramercy Tavern to navigating the Parisian apartment market—he says it was a valuable experience.
“It was great because I felt like I was living real life and I basically had a job,” he said.
Editor’s note: Harry DiPrinzio is a member of the Orient staff
Institutional review board keeps college research safe and ethical
Campus-wide emails, posters lining hallways of academic buildings and Orbit posts often contain calls for students to participate as subjects in experiments. Though it may be less visible, the Institutional Review Board (IRB) plays a key role in the execution of research on campus. At Bowdoin, any project involving human subjects must be submitted to the IRB for review.
This process ensures the safety and ethical treatment of those involved in the large number of projects conducted by Bowdoin faculty, staff and students on campus. These studies can only proceed once the IRB has reviewed them.
Chair of the committee, Professor of Psychology Sam Putnam monitors the front end of this process as he determines whether a proposal will be exempt from review and immediately approved, expedited to an individual committee member, or subject to full review by the committee.
“One thing that we want to do is minimize the likelihood of harm,” said Putnam. “In the situations where there is some risk, and participating in the study does expose you to some risk, then it really shifts to an effort to make sure that the subject knows very explicitly and very completely what they’re getting into.”
The IRB currently consists of six committee members: Putnam, Lecturer in Chemistry Michael Danahy, Assistant Professor of Neuroscience and Psychology Erika Nyhus and Associate Professor of Sociology and Anthropology Krista Van Vleet.
In addition, the IRB has two non-faculty members, Bowdoin’s Director of Sponsored Research Cara Martin-Tetreault and community member Herbert Paris.
The members of the IRB are appointed by the Faculty Committee for Governance. Generally, the group is composed of faculty in science and social science departments, with a limited number of members from outside of those disciplines.
“We have individuals who are involved in the committee that don’t have a Bowdoin affiliation, that give viewpoints that aren’t tied to Bowdoin,” said Putnam.
He added that the IRB would like to add even more community voices to its proceedings.Most projects are not immediately exempt from review. Instead, they are delegated to members of the committee and receive varying levels of review.
Putnam said the board especially focuses on studies involving vulnerable populations and those that include potentially harmful practices like deception. Studies that involve sensitive information surrounding subjects’ social or legal standing are also scrutinized closely.
Bowdoin holds regularly-scheduled confidential monthly meetings to address full review projects. About half of the deliberations result in verdicts that require some changes to be made. Most changes are minor and do not largely affect the projects. Very rarely does the IRB classify proposals as impossible to conduct.
“I think there have been two cases over my time on the board where the request that we made ultimately ended up in the research not taking place,” Putnam said.
An important distinction to make is that the IRB does not judge the merit of the projects. While members may have opinions on other aspects of the proposal, the board’s real concern is addressing any ethical concerns.
“Many of us are social scientists. Some might say, ‘This is not a good way to study this, they’re not going to prove what they’re trying to prove,’” said Putnam. “But that’s really not my job.”
Over the course of the year, the IRB typically sees about 50 cases, impacting a large number of student and faculty projects. September tends to be busiest, while January, late spring and summer also see a lot of proposals in concurrence with new semesters and summer break.
“We’re charged to protect human subjects, so it’s really to make sure that no one who’s participating in research at Bowdoin is harmed,” said Putnam.
48-Hour Film Festival yields quirky, unconventional films
After a mere 48 hours of writing, shooting and producing a film, a few of Bowdoin’s most driven filmmakers are ready to present their work.
The seventh annual 48-Hour Film Festival, presented by the Bowdoin Film Society (BFS), is scheduled to take place this Saturday. The screening will be held at 7 p.m. in Smith Auditorium in Sills Hall.
The highlight of the festival is its unique, time-restricted but relaxed nature. After the announcement of the rules, contestants have two days to produce their films and turn them in to the judges.
“I think it’s really interesting to see what people can come up with in a really short amount of time,” Ryan Szantyr ’16 said.
Every year, the festival’s judges impose two challenges in addition to the time limit. This year, each entry had to prominently feature a stuffed animal and play 10 seconds from a song chosen out of a hat.
“You end up with some bizarre solutions to some problems that come up. People have to make decisions really quickly, whereas in a regular film production those decisions will be thought out a little bit more,” Szantyr said. “It was really interesting to see how people incorporated the elements they didn’t even know would be part of the film until right before they began.”
The winning film will be awarded a prize by a panel of three judges, Isabelle Markert ’15, Szantyr and Tanisha Francis ’18. A viewers’ choice award was presented in previous years, but this year’s festival will only feature two films because only two films were submitted to the competition.
“Being into film at Bowdoin, it’s really cool that we have an event where there’s not pressure to make some amazing film. It’s just about being innovative and taking what it is that you’re given and running with the first idea in your head,” Markert said.
President of BFS Nick Magalhães ’15 and Mark Endrizzi ’15 produced “Run; Don’t Walk.” Noah Bragg ’15 and Alex Sutula ’13 produced “Dollhouse.”
The first is a three-minute film featuring a chase scene through the woods, while experimenting with the role of time.
“It is most simply a zombie movie. It has a nice sort of structure to it; it doesn’t play out in a linear setup,” Magalhães said.
Magalhães has contributed to the 48-Hour Film Festival in each of his four years at Bowdoin and drew on his past experience for this year’s production.
“Whenever I make a movie for the 48-Hour Film Festival I like to get one idea and keep it as simple as possible because we have so little time, so I kind of wanted to make a movie in reverse and it built from there,” he said.
For the filmmakers, it is the time crunch, not the extra criteria, that ends up being the most challenging aspect.
“The criteria weren’t so bad. You can use a song ironically or to match a mood, so a song is pretty versatile,” Magalhães said. “The stuffed animal was also not too bad, though of the two criteria, that was the one I found the silliest. The time restriction is the hardest part of it.”
Participants benefit not only from making their own films, but from viewing those of others.
“Some people have really vivid, wonderful imaginations and can read a book and go to another world, but when you see someone else’s other world in front of you it can transform your experience,” Magalhães said.
Following this Saturday’s festival screening, BFS will continue to play movies on weekend evenings after the upcoming Thanksgiving break. The first weekend back will feature “The Grand Budapest Hotel” and “Obvious Child.
Behind the Name tag: Divination, dining are fast-track Staples
Students on the run in Smith Union will recognize Brandy Staples as the woman who provides their lunchtime nourishment to go.
Staples (“like the office supply store,” she said) works at the counter of Fast Track at Jack Magee’s Pub, a weekday lunchtime operation that serves bagged meals to students in a hurry.While Staples enjoys the job overall, it is not always easy. She serves between 200 and 250 patrons on any given day during her 3.5 hour shift.
“You do not stop. Once you get here, you continue to go,” Staples said.
In addition to working at Bowdoin, Staples owns her own business. She hand makes and sells dowsing pendulums, which are crystals or stones at the end of chains that are used for divination and spiritual activities. Staples sells most of her products via online retailers such as Etsy and Ebay.
“I make everything from scratch. If it is not handmade by me, I make sure it is handmade,” said Staples.
Staples has a close connection to Maine. She grew up in nearby Phippsburg and returned there after living in Massachusetts for a time.
“Maine is a nice place to live and raise a family. People up here are more genuine [than in Massachusetts],” she said.
Staples earned an associate’s degree in travel and hospitality. She also has a certificate in medical billing and coding. As for her past work, Staples has consistently worked in the retail and food-service sector.
Almost three years ago, Staples ended up at Bowdoin by what she describes as “the lines of fate.” During her time here, Staples has interacted with many members of the Bowdoin community and especially enjoys getting to know Bowdoin students.
“I can’t believe how polite you guys are,” she said. “[Bowdoin students] are so funny: I’ll accidentally grab the wrong thing and you guys will apologize to me. It’s just funny because you are apologizing to me when I made the mistake.”
Staples is impressed by Bowdoin students’ tendency toward environmental awareness, noting how students have pushed for reusable lunch bags.
“There’s a lot of things here that I’ve really picked up from you guys,” Staples said. “People here are very intellectual, they’re always trying to learn new things and find better ways to do things so I’m glad we get to play off each other.”
In her free time, Staples is involved with activities at her church and describes herself as an “avid reader.”
“My goal in life is to finish all the books on my bookshelf before I die,” she said.
DJ of the Week: Alex Mathieu '15
Why did you get involved in WBOR?Alex Mathieu: One of my good friends, Jennifer Goetz ’15, had a radio show with another student so I thought I would give it a try.
Why is your show called “That One Chick Radio?”AM: Isn’t it obvious? It’s just me.
What kinds of music do you play?AM: I try to do a theme every week. Last week was R&B-themed, this week will be ’80s-themed. It varies week to week.
How do you choose which songs to play for each theme?AM: Just my own personal interest. I mean, I have a wide array of taste in music. I personally like the ’80s, so I play music from the ’80s and I also like R&B.
How do you want your listeners to feel while tuned into your show?AM: I want them to feel happy that they’re listening to my songs and excited that they’re finding new music.
If you could choose one lyric to define your life, what would it be?AM: It’s definitely going to be from a Fall Out Boy song. Probably, “Isn’t it messed up how I’m just dying to be him?” from “Sugar We’re Going Down.” A quintessential Fall Out Boy lyric.
What era would you travel back in time to for the best music?AM: I don’t want to go any farther back than the ’90s. It was a good mix of grunge, super pop with boy and girl bands, weird urban funk, and hip-hop making this really weird shift to electric but still trying to maintain its ’80s groove.
What is your favorite throwback song?AM: “Say My Name,” by Destiny’s Child.
If you could see any performer from any period of time, who would it be?AM: It would probably be Michael Jackson circa the “Thriller” album.
What do you think are the most important parts of having WBOR on campus?AM: I think it’s a great form of self-expression. I relate to music in different ways and it helps me sort through my feelings. It also introduces the local Brunswick community to different types of music, different styles, especially if mainstream pop isn’t doing it so much.
If you have one song that you know can always pump you up, what would it be and why?AM: There is a song that always pumps me up, but it’s weird because I like rap and hip-hop to a certain extent but they’re not my niche. For some reason, Ludacris’ “Get Back” always gets me pumped for anything. I don’t know what it is about that song but for tests, workouts, exams, presentations, it’s Ludacris’ “Get Back.”
What are your favorite aspects of music?AM: I listen to a lot of Japanese—Korean and bossa nova too—and I don’t necessarily understand all of what they’re saying but a good beat is important.There was a reason why, when I was 13, I listened to a lot of Evanescence and Fall Out Boy: I was a little angsty kid. The lyrics mean a lot to me, but it’s how [the beat and the lyrics] work in relation to each other. If the beat is good, then yes I’ll like the song, but if the lyrics are really good and the beat is so-so, I’ll still groove to that song.
Are there any genres of music that you won’t listen to?AM: I won’t lie. I refuse to listen to screamo. I would say that although I understand why some genres are just not for everyone, giving each genre a chance is not a bad idea as well. I wouldn’t say I enjoy country all that much, but there are some country songs that I like. I feel like there is a song for everyone in every genre. Maybe not in screamo for me, but that’s my personal preference.
What else are you involved with here at Bowdoin?AM: I’m an R.A. on Residential Life, I’m on the Judicial Board and I co-direct an a cappella group.
Alex Mathieu ’15 hosts WBOR’s “That One Chick Radio” on Wednesdays from 11 a.m. to noon.
24-Hour Show premiers three original comedies
One day, two 12-hour sessions, and three shows later, the 24-Hour Show, presented by Bowdoin’s student theater group Masque and Gown, was set to perform on stage.The annual show—which has been a staple of Bowdoin theater for more than 10 years—was performed last Saturday night in front of a packed audience in Memorial Hall. It was developed and performed by new and experienced actors, writers and directors.Starting at 7 p.m. on Friday night, four students—Nick Funnell ’17, Olivia Atwood ’17, Emma Dickey ’15 and Jacob de Heer Erpelding ’15—stayed up writing original plays until 7 a.m. on Saturday morning. The result was three comedic short plays: “Swag Club,” written by Funnell and Atwood, “OK, Cupid,” written by Dickey and “The Coo in the Night,” written by de Heer Epelding. Then, starting at 7 a.m., actors and directors worked on getting the plays performance-ready by 7 p.m.The 24-Hour Show creates an opportunity for students with busier schedules to get involved in theater, if only for a day. “It’s a really low commitment show,” said Trevor Murray ’16, Junior Representative for Masque and Gown. “I think there are a lot of people at Bowdoin who are interested in theater but don’t have the time to put in for a [full-length] show.” Although Shannon McCabe, ’17, has never been in a full-length production, she acted in “Swag Club.”“I did the 24-Hour Show last year and I was in a really serious [play] and it was fun, but this time all of them were comedies and it was so much fun to be in,” said McCabe.Funnell and Atwood said co-writing “Swag Club” helped when writer’s block kicked in. It grew more important as the night went on and they became, as Funnell described it, “tired as hell.” “We were up in Memorial on the sixth floor—there’s a dance studio there and we would go in and throw a ball around to stay active, to stay awake,” Funnell said. In the early morning, the writers finished their jobs and handed their scripts over to the directors and actors.Axis Fuksman-Kumpa ’17, Vice President of Masque and Gown, directed the show “The Coo in the Night,” which is about a so-called “pigeon man.”“As a director, what I like to do is just go with what the actors’ intuition is first—just let them walk through it, and then refine it from there,” said Fuksman-Kampa. “I make sure we do something that makes sense with the space we have. I like to go with what feels most natural to the human body.”Since all three plays happened to be comedies, the atmosphere was a light one.“It was a riot—the other two shows were really funny,” said Logan Jackonis ’17, who directed “OK, Cupid.” “The crowd seemed to get a kick out of the one we did.” Even though the 24-Hour Show is only a one-day time commitment, it is still an intense theater experience for all students involved.“It’s definitely hard because the pressure’s on, and rather than being like ‘I have three weeks, two weeks,’ it’s ‘I have three hours, two hours,’” said McCabe.“Hour-by-hour we’d be like ‘it’s tech week, it’s dress rehearsal,’ getting down to the wire,” McCabe added. “It was challenging but it was a fun challenge.”Masque and Gown is currently preparing its more traditional full-length show, “Almost, Maine.” The performances will take place October 23-25 at Pickard Theater in Memorial Hall.Editor’s Note: Atwood, co-writer of “Swag Club” and Sophomore Representative of Masque and Gown is Page 2 Editor of the Orient.
Local farm offers students a perspective on rural life
Most people on campus know Mike Woodruff as the director of the Bowdoin Outing Club. What some people may not know is that he and his wife, Lucretia Woodruff, also own and operate the local Milkweed Farm.
The couple originally lived in Phippsburg, Maine, but hoped to find a piece of land closer to Brunswick where they could work more closely with the Bowdoin and Brunswick communities.
“We really liked it out there, but we wanted to do more farming, grow more food,” said Mike Woodruff. “So we found this beautiful piece of land, and we decided we would buy that.”
Milkweed Farm, which occupies ten acres of land, has been in operation since 2005. The farm is supported through the sale of community-supported agriculture (CSA) shares. At the beginning of each season, the Woodruffs sell about 75 of these shares to local residents, who then recieve produce once a week for 18 weeks.
Lucretia Woodruff is the lead farmer at Milkweed, where she handles day-to-day operations like vegetable production and animal care, and oversees all apprentices.
Around a dozen individuals from Brunswick work between two to four hours a week to pay for part of their shares. The Woodruffs have also hired multiple Bowdoin students over the past few years, including Adam Berliner ’13 and Clare Stansberry ’14.
“I worked the summer after my sophomore year,” said Berliner. “I knew that Mike had a farm and I was looking for something to do over the summer, so I called Lucretia.”
As an apprentice, Berliner lived in a tent on the farm and worked a multitude of tasks.“The job was everything from planting to weeding to harvesting to watering. They also had a bunch of animals. So we fed and watered those, and then processed them,” Berliner said.Stansberry, who worked at the farm during the summer after her sophomore and senior years, said her opportunity to work at the farm came at the perfect time.
“After my sophomore year at Bowdoin I was kind of in that classic position where you really have no idea what you want, but you’ve been told to get an internship,” said Stansberry. “I went to Adam and he suggested, ‘Oh you should talk to Mike.’”
Stansberry took a year off from farm work after her initial summer, but returned when the Woodruffs asked her to expand upon what she had started.
“I was talking to Lucretia because I had a CSA share from her. She asked, ‘How would you feel about coming back next year and taking a bigger role in the farm?’ I ended up going back to the farm this summer doing more independent work,” said Stansberry.
Stansberry feels that one of the most unique aspects of Milkweed Farm and other local farms is the sense of community and awareness that they foster.
“I think it’s important that people care about the food they’re eating and the people they’re getting it from,” said Stansberry. “It’s really easy for us to be blind to how hard it is to grow things.”
Likewise, Berliner says he gained much more than job experience from his time at Milkweed.“The whole process of starting something in the springtime as a little seed in the ground and then actually eating it a few months later is pretty awesome,” Berliner said.
As Milkweed functions as a full farm with both vegetables and livestock, it continues to grow into a respected feature of the Brunswick community.
According to Mike Woodruff, the farm grows “every vegetable known to man that grows in the northeast.” The farm’s website lists over 70 vegetables, many of which have more that one variety.
He added, “We raise hogs. We raise turkeys for Thanksgiving. We have chickens for eggs, and some beef as well. And we have a milk cow, but that’s for personal consumption.”
Stansberry recalled her acute awareness to the presence of the cows on the farm. She remembers starting her work at 5:50 a.m. with “the cow screaming—not like mooing, like an elephant trumpeting.”
As autum and winter approach, Milkweed will adapt; adding operations such as making and selling pies.
“We have an offseason for the vegetables,” said Lucretia “But we still work on the farm every day.”
The Woodruffs and their children will continue to live on the farm year-round, growing sustainable, community-supported products.