Few members of On Harvard Time, one of Harvard’s on-campus comedy groups, are laughing as they make final preparations to relocate to the Student Organization Center at Hilles this month after being “kicked out” of their Pforzheimer basement studio.
Julianna R. Aucoin ’16, an executive producer of the show, said OHT have been in conversations with Pforzheimer House Masters Anne Harrington ’82 and John R. Durant about a potential relocation since early in the year. According to Aucoin, Harrington and Durant had made it clear to the club that the basement studio would no longer solely house OHT, which has recorded seven seasons of comedy news to date.
Harrington wrote in an email to The Crimson that she and her husband have met with OHT senior members and Associate Dean of Student Life David R. Friedrich to discuss the terms of sharing the basement space, which would serve as not only a studio but also a “multi-use party room and social space.”
“We invited OHT to stay,” Harrington wrote. “However, we said that we would like to transform the large and attractive common room space it had been using into a shared, multi-use space, rather than a space to which OHT would have exclusive access.”
Aucoin said that with a production that requires editing, filming, and script writing at all hours of the day, sharing the space would be far from ideal and that while she appreciates help with the relocation, she still feels that OHT had been essentially “kicked out” of its studio.
“We feel very much powerless, and it is quite irritating,” Aucoin said.
She added that the staff now has to focus on the logistics and finances of relocation, distracting members from their production duties.
“[We are] flakey arts kids, people who are more interested in jokes and laughing,” Aucoin said. “Now we are having to navigate the structure of the University and attempt to get funding...and manage a situation we might not be qualified to manage.”
Despite the distraction, though, Aucoin said that OHT was able to produce its fifth episode of the current season, set to go online Friday, that will poke fun at them being “kicked out” of their studio. It will likely be the final episode filmed in their current location.
Derek M. Flanzraich ’10, who founded OHT in 2007, said that the relocation of OHT hurts a production that has a beneficial role in the community.
“[OHT] pokes fun at a University and a student body that sometimes does not remember to laugh enough,” Flanzraich said.
In addition, he noted that while he has confidence that current OHT members will be able to handle the move, the character of the club will inevitably be harmed.
“It is extraordinarily hard to produce something like that.... I think it is a shame that [OHT] doesn’t get the recognition that it deserves and protection from the administration,” Flanzraich said. “I do think the current group will figure it out, but I do think it will never be the same. I think that [this] is a mistake.”
—Staff writer Theodore R. Delwiche can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on twitter @trdelwic.