The Melloniad - The Final Session

Note: WSYWAT = We See You, White American Theatre

The Mellon School! We gather one last time
to celebrate our goings-on in rhyme.
Thanks to Martin, Debra and Rebecca,
Sheryl, Elizabeth, Carrie, and etc.!
Martin launched us in mode declarative,
exhorting us to “win back the narrative.”
Though defending Humanities has made us weary,
the call to arms is: practicalize our theory!
Shamell zoomed in to give us a reminder
that freedom dreams begin with Insight Timer,
and paradigmatic shifts are sometimes made
by scholars throwing glitter and not shade.
With Mellonites up to their usual antics,
Chris B. parsed futurity’s semantics.
None can say where post(?)-Covid theater’s going;
prospecting, then, must keep our inkwells flowing,
and as theater reboots itself in fits and starts,
scenarios will future-proof the arts.
Just when our faith in futures began to teeter,
Harvey called out white American Theatre’s
response to WSYWAT’s reasonable demands—
parading virtue rather than actual plans.
Will BIPOC plays have houses to perform in,
with Slave Play trailing Chicago and Book of Mormon?
Even TKTS can’t save the Great White Way
(Warning: You might be purchasing a play.)
David and Larry improved our journal karma
by taking us backstage at Modern Drama,
and to current works we lent attentive ear
before gathering in our breakout rooms by year.
Materializing back in Farkas Hall,
we weren’t quite ready for our curtain call.
Once we had found our feet back on the land,
we pondered how to forward the Mellon brand.
With global humanists now in alliance,
we dreamed of students having to take “Science,”
and instead of reading Homer, Joyce and Plato
tracking the decolonized potato.
In workshop, Jennifer soothed our perturbations
by guiding us in performance installations,
and Ana got us down to nitty-gritty
thinking and making the stranger and the city.
Once we had glimpsed this new transcultural vista,
we rose up to veg and Bart and bop with Christa.
Then, having proved ourselves a dance sensation,
we found flow through Matt’s Applied Improvisation,
controlling others with magnetic hands
and twisting into 3D ampersands.
Who knew that as the Mellon School congealed
we produced a mini-story of the field?
Dear friends, as Farkas Hall recedes from view,
let us say à bientôt and not adieu.

                                                            Andrew Sofer

See also: Andrew Sofer