When I read in The Hoya that Mask & Bauble would be producing William Finn’s “Falsettos,” I reread the paragraph three times in disbelief. Georgetown students would perform a musical about homosexuals, divorce, neurotic Jews and AIDS?

I was no stranger to the show. At the age of nine, I was cast in one of the first productions of “Falsettos,” a combination of two one-act musicals, “March of the Falsettos and Falsettoland.” It was an experience that changed my life, and I was so sad when the six-week run ended that I refused to listen to the cast recordings for almost five years.

Having long ago given up acting for more “practical” activities – debate, journalism, studying – I thought long and hard about whether or not I would audition for Georgetown’s production. Nevertheless, both my heart and my brain were in agreement – I had to do the show. And so now I find myself on stage in Poulton Hall, playing a singing psychiatrist and loving every minute of it.

I implore you – yes, you, the one holding the newspaper or surfing the Internet – to come see me and my fellow cast members in what is surely one of the best pieces of drama of the last 20 years. Now more than ever, we as a campus must support the arts. Sure, Georgetown is known for more pragmatic endeavors: training students in diplomacy, business and a myriad of other useful subjects. But the classroom is not the only place on campus where we can learn about human experience. “Falsettos” is a perfect example. In two and half hours, Finn explores the boundaries of love, courage, family and acceptance in ways that move beyond cliches.

Anyone who has seen or worked on a theatrical production here at Georgetown knows that institutional support for theater is sorely lacking. I am confident that many of you had better theater facilities at your public high school than we have at our prestigious university. Georgetown’s decision – assuming it takes shape – to build a new arts building is a great first step. Theater, though, needs an audience. College ought to be more than a frenzy of work during the week followed by hardcore partying on the weekend. Sure, that routine has its place, but college should be something more, as well.

Between serving as a captain of the Mock Trial team and doing “Falsettos,” I have learned that Georgetown’s support of student activities in general is woefully inadequate. Last year, our Mock Trial team, despite having no faculty sponsor or attorney coach, beat teams with corporate sponsorship in order to win second place in the entire nation. This year, we are even receiving less money than we did the year before. If the university won’t even support a team of wannabe-lawyers – I fear what opinion it has of its dancers, painters, actors and musicians.

The plot and message of “Falsettos” makes it even more important that as many people see it as possible. Now more than ever, someone has an obligation to bring a message of tolerance to our university. For now, the dozens of people who have volunteered countless hours to bring an obscure Broadway musical to the stage here are filling that role.

If we are unable to fill seats at the one musical that the university will put on this year, I think it is a sad commentary on the quality of life at this school. Georgetown and its students must embrace the arts in order for our university to compete with other schools of its caliber, and to enhance the quality of education here. As the main character, Marvin, asks at the beginning of “Falsettos,”It’s about time, don’t you think?” I’m hopeful the answer is yes.

Adam Harris is junior in the School of Foreign Service and can be reached at harristhehoya.com. Nothing But the Truth appears every other Friday.

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