Between announcements from the C-Proctors and CALSA board at school meeting last Wednesday, a catwalk spotlight used for mainstage productions came dislodged from its fixing and reportedly hurtled down onto the lectern, hitting the stage with a sizable bang. Within seconds, the spectacle elicited a rousing and passionate standing roar of applause from the student body.
Shared third-former Amy Clarke ’19, who was assigned to sit in the PMAC that day, “It really hit me hard—the helpless moment of seeing it fall, of knowing I was unable to stop or affect it in any way; the resounding crack when it hit the microphone; the split second of utter silence when it finished spinning on the lectern desk—it just resonated with me. In a way, it reminded me of myself and made me realize just how lucky I am to be part of a community like Choate.”
“It was definitely one of my favorite school meetings,” she added.
Following the meeting, reporters interviewed students from each form to gauge community reactions to the event. Interestingly, while fifth- and sixth-formers tended to view the fall as a symbolic act of defiance against societal classism, fourth-formers more often interpreted the performance as a condemnation of police brutality and systemic racial inequality. Third-formers, on the other hand, felt the performance was neither a rebellion against nor a commentary on societal oppression, but actually a romantic reflection on the passage of time. Though faculty opinion varied, it was often split between these three perspectives.
Interestingly, some students were actually less focused on the performance and more on the response it received. “We never give enough credit to speakers,” lamented fifth-former Ibrahim Hajjar ’17, referring to the frequency with which recent special programs, performances, and speeches have been met with little more than sparse applause and uninterested nods. “It’s good to see that, for once, a performance got the standing ovation it deserved.”
Assented a nearby student, “I stood up because everyone else did.”
When asked for comment, the stage light expressed its excitement to hear that its performance had been so well received. “I’m not sure what I was expecting,” said the industrial, six-inch, rotating, Fresnel-lensed light fixture, “but I’m happy to see people enjoyed it at least.”
“It was definitely pretty nerve-wracking,” the lamp continued, “especially when I saw the posted schedule for the meeting and had to patiently wait for my time slot. Overall, though, I’m pretty glad I went through with it.” Laughing sympathetically, the light added, “No regrets, you know?” In response to questions about the performance’s meaning, the quartz-lensed luminance unit replied simply, “Well, that’s up for the audience to interpret.”
At press time, the spotlight was seen utilizing its newfound fame to promote the upcoming spring musical: City of Angels, in which it anticipates a lead role.