Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern


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Theater, frat mentalities don’t mix well (Neil Flinchbaugh column)

This is the first of what will probably be several columns dealing with the disparities between some of the different social groups here at Northwestern.

Having myself spent the better part of seven quarters (make that, the worst part of seven quarters) bouncing between various engineering majors, I know what it’s like to be a calculator-carrying nerd. After living in Bobb Hall for two years, I’ve also become very familiar with the ways of the fratboy beer bong, literally repeated ad nauseam.

And finally, now being a fiction writing major with a minor in European history, I have amassed both experience and close friends in the liberal arts community.

Regarding this broad range of interaction, today I’m going to write about a personal anecdote. If it were interesting enough to merit a title, it would be called “North Meets South: Frat Guys at a Play.”

Back when I still lived in Bobb, and hadn’t yet achieved an interschool transfer (read: escape) out of the McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science, three of my buds and I decided to trek all the way down to Shanley Pavilion to watch a production of Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night,” in which two of our mutual friends had roles.

Knowing full well that the dramatic arts just isn’t the same without a 40 in your hand (and soon to be in your belly), we decided to come armed with a backpack full of Busch Lite.

As soon as the lights went out, we passed them around. And when the opening applause reached its loudest, there came four audible clicks from the back corner of the auditorium. Act I. Game on, right? Wrong.

Well first of all, this thing that was happening up on stage, this “play,” was not quite reaching the four of us. We had eight eyes between us, and yet we failed to notice even a single car explosion, naked chick or alien blaster gun. We were very confused.

Now imagine our chagrin when the stage manager took a seat behind us and actually asked for our beers. And we would have offered her one if we weren’t afraid of running out ourselves (there were four more acts to go).

But she wasn’t interested in partying to Shakespeare. In fact, I’m not sure she’s ever done a keg stand in her entire life. She took our open beers and left us to sober befuddlement.

We couldn’t start drinking in earnest until after the play — we never came back again.

And that, dear readers, is where this little story winds down to its unsatisfying conclusion. Be sure to tune in next week, when we bike our way up north to visit a frat party — as a theater major!

Neil Flinchbaugh is Weinberg senior. He can be reached at [email protected].

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Theater, frat mentalities don’t mix well (Neil Flinchbaugh column)