Before getting elected Artistic Director I knew very little about Cap & Bells history, and when I discovered that there was no Vulcan mind meld set to take place with the outgoing A.D.s, I decided to start doing some research. I came across an article written in the Record describing Cap & Bells history, glossed rather quickly over most of the facts—very interesting by the way—and soon got hung up on details about the group’s life during the Great Depression. The number of Williams students was at an all time low, the College’s survival and the future of the country were terribly unsure, and still Cap & Bells continued to produce shows. At the lowest point, the 1929 Cap & Bells budget was $59. I found myself imagining what it must have been like to put on a show in those times, and then I got an idea.
In honor of our current economic hotspot I wanted to propose that we slash the Fall Season budgets to those amounts. I then realized that the directors would probably dress me up as J. Edgar Hoover and burn me in effigy on the Main Stage. So I tried a new idea: “The Recession Sessions.” Here’s a question and a challenge: what kind of project will you create with $59? Respond online, in person, or in e-mail and we’ll see exactly how far $59 and the true grit of Williams theater artists can go.