Perhaps you’ve already seen the tents going up in O’Neill Plaza and are thinking to yourself, “what is this, another viewing of Frozen Earth on another cold night?” Maybe you’re just upset that you missed out on the case of Red Bull that a helicopter dropped on Monday night and feel like avoiding O’Neill Plaza entirely for the next few days so you can silently stew about it. No matter, I’m here to be the first-or more likely the eighth or something (those people are wonderfully relentless marketers)-to tell you to spend your Thursday through Saturday afternoons at Arts Festival.
Without getting too bitter about it, Boston College students frequently value sports and rallies over arts events-it’s fine, I’ve come to terms with it, but I think it’s amazing how lovers of all things arts roll out the red carpet once a year for a spectacular three days of presentations, showcases, food and film and more. It’s great to hit up the festival with a schedule of events in mind, but it can almost be more fun to just stumble across events walking to and from classes.
Best of all is that almost all of the events are completely free to students. It’s a great opportunity to sample some of the incredible artistic groups we have on campus. Say you missed out on the spectacular but completely sold out Spring Awakening in the Bonn Theatre last month-have no fear, the cast is performing selections from the show one afternoon for free, sure to draw huge crowds. What if you were just too swamped with work to make it to Robsham to see Rising Up, the dance showcase featuring the school’s dance majors demonstrating a year’s worth of rehearsals? Once again, the dancers will be twirling and leaping through the air for absolutely no price at all.
Apart from catching acts you may have missed from the semester, Arts Festival offers larger scale events that are one of a kind entertainment. I know that I’ll be setting aside time in my Thursday evening to see one of my good friends and fellow Heights editors in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Shakespeare’s droll little play that Luke Jorgensen has morphed into a Bollywood rendition of the bard’s classic. It runs tonight through Sunday and looks to be the theatre department’s most exciting play of the year, plus it offers the last chance to see the unquestionably hilarious Cam Cronin onstage at BC before he graduates-it’s truly not to be missed.
Likewise, for those who have friends who love to sing, the odds are Thursday night’s BC Best event in the Main Tent might interest you. It’s a chance to see student singer/songwriters perform original music in a wide variety of genres for free. Beforehand, visiting the Bapst Art Gallery for the Student Art opening exhibition is a no-brainer. Pieces created by your fellow students accompanied with free food and drink just sounds like the most civilized of evenings, doesn’t it?
For those who like to laugh, it’s worth the trek to O’Connell House on Friday and Saturday nights to see the Committee for Creative Enactments’ performance of “Murder at the Holiday Inn Express.” It costs $5 at the door but the interactivity of the show is more than worth the admission-plus you’ll get to see one of our writers in a dress, which is a bonus on top of the hilarity sure to ensue.
More than anything, though, Arts Festival is a way to unwind with friends before the next several weeks of final papers, projects, and exams. If you find yourself in the library working during the festival, spend 20 minutes outside in the Main Tent rather than checking Facebook-you might just have the opportunity to watch something you’ll love.