Greek Theater

“You shouldn’t have to pay for friends.”  I am so disheartened when I hear people utter this phrase as I could not feel any more differently about my time with Kappa Delta Rho, which I joined my freshman year of college.  I find myself constantly arguing over the fact that a Greek organization is not about making friends.  It is about working in a community for a common goal, (which differs from group to group) and friendship is something that is inevitable along the way.  I am sure that there are many young students who flock to the glamorous Greek life that they have seen on television and movies, but I’m sure are shocked when they encounter the real world and realize it isn’t all about parties and games.

 

By this point, I hope you realize that this corner is not about the Oedipus plays or the origin of the drama masks.  I recently attended a friend’s birthday party which was comprised of Cast Members from a STAGE production.  I left the party feeling such joy for all the Cast Members who were celebrating the friendships that had been created (and some continued) throughout the course of rehearsals and upcoming performances.  It reminded me of the irritating phrase, “paying for friends.”  Anyone who has ever been part of a community theatre knows how much of a toll it can take on your personal life when you are working on a show, whether it is physically, mentally, socially, or sometimes even financially.  Many nights eating out after rehearsal, paying your own money for those dance shoes you’ll need to buy and will have to keep, and chipping in for cast/crew gifts adds up over time.  The point here is that most people don’t audition for shows just to make friends.  People audition for shows because they want to be involved in a production and many times, the process of bringing the show together creates very special friendships.  Some last only as long as the rehearsal period, some last a while as you find yourself doing multiple shows with many of the same people, and some last for a lifetime.  But you never hear anyone say, “I don’t do theatre because I don’t audition for friends.”

 

Though there are some Greek organizations out there that make poor decisions and media networks love to publicize them, I find it a very ignorant statement to accuse anyone of “paying for friends.”  Life is full of opportunities that help shape us into better people and I know that I would not be who I am today if it were not for the skills I learned in college.  I learned how to motivate a team, how to instill professionalism even when it seems pointless, how to collaborate with strong personality types, and how to coordinate people’s talents toward a common goal.  All of these skills I gained as a leader in my fraternity and it made becoming a director in theatre a whole lot easier.  I see so many similarities to our close knit theatre group and my fraternity from back home.  Both helped shape me, both of them use costumes and scripts, and both gave me friends along the way that made life a whole lot more interesting.