We don’t act in your bar, don’t smoke in our theater

We don't act in your bar, don't smoke in our theater

by Carrie Myers

The first weekend of school is all about catching up with old friends, meeting new ones, standing around for a bit and, new for this year, apparently mistaking Pote Theater for the Funny Bone or a bar.

On Monday, Aug. 29, comedian Kyle Cease made his second appearance at Simpson. Cease, back by popular demand, is known best as Bogie Lowenstein from “10 Things I Hate About You” or the guy who starts the slow clap in “Not Another Teen Movie.” Campus Activities Board brought Cease to campus for Hump-Day Has in BSC last year.

This year, the show was moved to Pote Theater in Blank Performing Arts Center. The theater was filled to capacity – some people even had to sit in the aisles.

After the lights had gone down and Cease had the crowd rolling, the uproar of laughter stopped briefly in the upper middle section of the audience as students were overwhelmed by the smell of cigarette smoke.

Normally, the scent of a cigarette doesn’t confuse students at an expensive liberal arts school – we are intelligent people. But, when they smell it inside a school theater packed with students, many eyebrows were raised.

One disgruntled student told me, “I was having a great time. And then, suddenly, I was hit with the awful smell and smoke. It almost ruined the entire show for me. I don’t like to choke on smoke while I watch something.”

Of course, many students have had their fair share of nights spent doing ridiculously embarrassing things in public. But this was over the top. This was not smoking inside a bar, it was in Pote Theater. And it wasn’t just cigarettes. Two cans of beer were cracked open and two cigarettes were smoked during the hour and a half comedy show.

One student quietly tried to get the smoker’s attention, but was silenced by another: “Don’t worry about it,” he hissed.

This same hisser also tried to start the slow clap on several occasions, but was brutally shot down when no one else joined him and Cease mocked him. Of course, the entire audience was mocking him – we just weren’t fortunate enough to have a microphone.

I just want to know, if students don’t worry about their health, their lungs, school policy – not to mention the law – at a comedian’s show on campus, what’s to stop them from bringing a bottle of Merlot and a pack of Virginia Slims to next weekend’s production of “Nora and Julie”?