Diversity and the Wig Experience

Diversity and the Wig Experience
December 10, 2014 Nate Stauffer

By Braden Amundsen, Stage Crew ’16

If you know anything about the audition process for Mask and Wig, you know it happens only over a few hours on a single day. We get a class of New Guys from a bunch of kids that we essentially know nothing about. We accept them based on their talents, experience, and the small amount of personality we get from a few minutes in an interview. This one-day process keeps the company of the Mask and Wig Club extremely variable. No two Wig classes are alike, and each member brings a different experience to the company.

I believe the strength of our brotherhood is in part because of its diversity. One of the greatest resources afforded to us by attending a university as esteemed as Penn is the diverse student population, and the microcosm of Mask and Wig represents this. Our members come from a variety of backgrounds, and the Wig environment is especially inclusive because we want to nurture genuine friendships with those with whom we spend so much time. Any apparent differences between us aren’t important when we’re working hard to put on our productions or when we’re having a good time at a social event.

I joined Wig in the hope that it would be okay with everyone if I was gay. I didn’t know what to expect, but looking back, that worry seems so silly. (I mean, our Chairman was literally gay at the time!) Instead, I was welcomed into a space where people liked me based on my personality and what I could bring to the table. I quickly made friends with company members who were gay, straight, Palestinian, Black, Ecuadorian, Brazilian, Indian, Jewish, and even Mormon. (Oh wait, that’s just me!)  I would never want any potential New Guy to worry about fitting in, because everyone in Wig wants to help each of his brothers have the best experience possible.

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