After a few months at school and one too many late nights in Lau, it’s easy to get Georgetown’s abbreviations muddled together. Too much precious brainpower is used trying to decipher these abridged code names, so I paid little attention when advertisements for the “DBMOAF”show started appearing around campus. But as I realized after attending the show’s press run, DBMOAF — short for the Donn B. Murphy One Acts Festival — is a celebration of student art, and it may be one of the most important abbreviations on campus.

The festival, presented by the Mask & Bauble Dramatic Society, is intended to be a showcase for the various aspects of student artistic talent. Upon walking into PoultonHall, one enters a gallery, curated by Rachel Lesser (COL ’15), of student-created art. The gallery includes everything from photography to illustrated lyrics of the band fun., and while the art may not be particularly groundbreaking, it was an excellent representation of the diverse talents from students of all grade levels.

The walk through the student gallery is followed by the festival’s main event: the presentation of “Spiritual Ecstasies.” The one-act performance was written by Katie Smith (COL ’15), and she explains that writing the script was a chance “to play with the thrill of listening to a voice that’s moved by passion.” “Spiritual Ecstasies” is not necessarily a traditional production; there isn’t a clear plot ordialogue between two characters. Instead, the play is more of a conversation. This is what makes “Spiritual Ecstasies” so enjoyable; I felt easily immersed in each character’s stories and emotions. The three characters — a hockey player, a priest and a photographer — tell the stories of their passions to an empty chair. At first, the audience members see little connection between the experiences of the three characters; photography, playing hockey and preaching God’s word seem to be completely unrelated passions. As the play picks up pace and the characters’ monologues blur together, however, the audience realizes that the characters are all seeking to understand themselves. By no means are the characters’ lives or messages the same, but they all use their passion to reach for something deeper, whether it be a sense of purpose or an understanding of the world. Presenting three distinctive perspectives at once, “Spiritual Ecstasies” is an engaging and relatable experience.

The second half of DBMOAF consists of staged readings that will rotate from night to night. At theDBMOAF press run, I saw “Untitled Monologue,” written by Alice Neave (COL ’16). The focus of “Untitled Monologue” seemed to be the opposite of “Spiritual Ecstasies.” Rather than discussing the positive drive of passion, it focuses on what happens when passion or love goes wrong.  While the reading had a much darker atmosphere than the preceding performance, it was powerful and extremely gripping. Although slightly terrifying, I thought “Untitled Monologue” was an excellent pairing for “Spiritual Ecstasies” and would be interested to see the other staged readings included inDBMOAF.

With the stress of midterms and finals fast approaching, it can be easy to forget the importance of the arts at Georgetown. This is what makes DBMOAF so important. Every aspect of the festival showcases students’ abilities; students both write and perform the pieces, and the gallery contains only student-produced art. DBMOAF is a chance to celebrate the accomplishments of fellow students and reminds us of the strong creative presence here at Georgetown. With a running time of less than an hour, any Hoya can set aside some time this weekend to celebrate student art. The festival will be occurring this Friday at 8 p.m. and Saturday at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.

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