By Jeremy Golant, Business Staff ’17
With the beginning of another year at Penn comes the beginning of another year of Mask and Wig. New Student Orientation is an important time for the Club, due to the throngs of freshmen who have yet to learn about all of the wonderful things that Penn has to offer them. In this vein, Wig has had a blast putting together events geared towards the freshman class to teach them about theater at Penn and give them an overview of what our organization is all about.
We kicked off NSO by hosting a highly-attended “Late Night Comedy” event. After ordering pizza and beverages for the students, we featured performances from Penn’s premier comedy groups: Without a Net (improvisational comedy), Simply Chaos (stand-up comedy), Bloomers (all-female musical-sketch comedy), and Mask and Wig. The bands of the latter two performed as well. The event went off without a hitch and the mingling session that followed proved enjoyable for everyone.
The next day was a busy one for the company, involving two major events: our Preceptorial at the Clubhouse, and the band’s performance at the Freshman Toga Party. The first saw us hosting over seventy freshmen downtown in an informational event entitled “Theater at Penn.” We had speakers from almost all groups in the TAC-e (Theater Arts) and SMAC (Singers, Musicians and Comedians) branches of the Performing Arts Council as well as representatives from SPEC Sound, Platt Performing Arts House and the build shop. Following a floor show of classic Wig bits from members of our cast, attendees were given the opportunity to chat with the speakers. Later that evening, the band performed an incredible set at the Toga Party at the Penn Museum. The crowd loved the performance, with Crew Clubbie Brent Stone stepping in to play guitar and former Band Leader Nick Volpe returning to play bass. The set list included recent hits such as “What You Know” and “Love Song” as well as old favorites like “Down”.
As we prepare for Free Show (which will be held at Zellerbach Auditorium on August 31st), the four sections continue to work tirelessly to perfect every aspect of our annual sketch show for the new students. Much like the aforementioned events, Free Show will help to publicize our group to the Penn Class of 2018. If it follows the trend of the past several Free Show performances, the show will play up to almost a thousand new students.
Overall, the NSO process has been exciting, challenging, and profoundly rewarding for all members of the company. It has introduced Wig to a new generation of Penn students, kept our tradition alive and hopefully attracted a new group of extraordinary gentlemen to audition to join our group. We are extremely eager to welcome a new class of Wiggers and to start off yet another year as we strive to raise the Club to new heights.