Arts Vanity: Eight Days a Week

Five hundred twenty-five thousand, six hundred miiinutes! After almost a year of serving Crimson Arts as theater executive, I, a wee sophomore, the Boy Wonder of the Arts Board, was ready to move on to bigger and better—hell, I would’ve taken “different”—things. But nobody else was willing to step up to the plate, so I’m back for round two. My theory: People didn’t apply to be theater exec because they didn’t know what it’s like to be theater exec. So, current and future Arts writers, please find below a summary of the position’s weekly responsibilities. HRDC, please see disclaimer in tagline.


7:29. Pitch a piece at the Writers Meeting. Really talk it up, or else no one will take it. “Come on, guys—a classic play with a cool, relevant spin! Two tickets, so you can bring That Special Someone to a classy night on the town!” No one picks it up. An hour later, email the pitch to the Arts listserv. Pass the evening editing last week’s pieces at Arts production night at the Crimson. You wait all night, but nobody picks up your piece. Decide to review the show yourself.


Contemplate asking That Special Someone, or anyone at all, to a night at the Theater.


7:18. Well, it’s 7:18, and you don’t have a date. Message your blocking group to see if anyone wants to catch a play. Nobody does. Maybe you should stop asking producers for two tickets.

7:46. Ask the girl at the will call booth for your tickets. “Two, right?” she asks. “Nope, just me,” you say with a smile and a shrug. Find a seat around the middle of the house. Take out your Moleskine, so if anyone sees you, they will (correctly) assume you are a smart, on-top-of-things Theater Critic, not just some loser alone at the theater on a Friday night.

7:55. Scan the program. Preemptively dock the play a couple points because the director failed to cast you in his show freshman fall (back when you had the guts to make art, not sit behind a computer screen and point out how the strong man stumbles). Hey, that’s that guy and girl from your seminar. Are they a thing? You know what, good for them, making it work. It’s hard. Or so you hear.

8:44. Hey, the female lead is cute! She’s pretty good at acting, too, you guess. Start to worry that this show might be well done, meaning some creativity might be necessary to exact vengeance on the director. Doze off. Oh, Jesus, how much of the show did you just miss? It’s ending! You only saw half the play. It’s fine. You took good notes.


3:08. Start writing. Formulaic intro paragraph. Praise the cute female lead, obviously, and show’s concept and Relevance. God, can someone do a show at Harvard that doesn’t have the bleakest possible themes? Let’s check on the compers’ pieces: Oh, good, the preview of the show about the futility of war came in clean; the one about depression looks fine, too; but the review of the show about sexual assault, racism, and despair is late, so that’s no good.

4:45. Wrap up. Wait, you didn’t exact vengeance! Say the lighting was, like, “inconsistent” or something. Yeah, that’s more a lighting designer thing than a director thing, but, you know, the buck stops there. Who gives a shit?

—Trevor J. Levin is both the outgoing and incoming Boy Wonder theater exec. He would like to reassure members of the Harvard theater community that this piece—like some perfectly performable works of theater, by the way—was written as levity. He does not have, nor has he ever had, a man-bun, which should really just be called a “bun.” #MasculinitySoFragile