The MelloniBad 2017

With apologies to Andrew Sofer and all species

Scene 1: Invocation
Oh Muses, Muse Thalia, Muse Melpomene,
may all Harvard Mellon Schoolers be happy and free.
May Martin Puchner, our great Mellon head,
be happy, free, and revolutionary.
May all pedagogical pigeons
be happy, may they not poop on me,
may the airplanes waiting for us at Logan
be happy and free.

Scene 2: Mellon School of Theater and Performance Research
Martin kicked us off with the Communist Manifesto,
the meeting of Marx and Engels (those best bros).
We asked if the manifesto form is dated
and if the charismatic male leader is overrated.

(May all failed Revolutions be happy and free.)

Elaine Scarry spoke of theatrical consent,
touching on Locke, Mill, Rousseau, and Hannah Arendt.
Theatrical participation would make her tremble,
while April wanted to scream, “Freedom to assemble.”

(May all assemblies be happy and free.)

Harvey Young presented American blacks as undead,
and asked what theater can do instead
of presenting spectacles of black suffering
let Hands Up and Black Lives/Black Words sing.

(Let all humans be happy and free.)

I told the story of tapping blackface
as we continued to explore theater and race
with Genet’s The Blacks and its wounded success
thank you for dancing, chanting, kneeling in the mess.

(May we all dance, happy and free.)

Doris Sommers invited us drama birds
to write some theoretical, activist keywords.
While Una Chaudhuri lifted our eyes to the climate
Will global warming make my butt look fat?

(Dear Climate, please be happy and free.)

Annie Sprinkle married coal in a mine
and Bonnie Honig taught us how to incline,
like women, the sphinx, let us genuflect
for bodies without organs are not erect.

(May all organs be happy and free.)

Larry Switzer shared a South African puppet parade,
elephants pranced where Apartheid reigned.
Then we learned to dance and love with Shenelle Bell:
Mellon Ballers rule – Hegemoney go to he…!

(May Street Dance Activism be happy and free.)

Scene 3: Participation
OK, stand up!
just kidding, but admit we’ve had some fun,
reading our hearts out, then more class participation.
But for friendship’s sake please say with me,

“May all Harvard Mellon Schoolers, be happy and free.”

“May all Harvard Mellon Schoolers, be happy and free.”

See also: Carrie Preston