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SEA coffeehouse taps creativity to promote sustainability

By Clayre Benzadon

Section: Arts

October 16, 2015

Students for Environmental Action (SEA) highlighted environmental issues, especially water pollution, during their first coffeehouse of the semester, on Wednesday, Oct.14

Various groups performed, including the Charles River Ramblers, TBA, Voices of Soul, False Advertising, Isaac & Mack, Bad Grammer and Company B.

The Charles River Ramblers started the night off at Chum’s with a soulful Scottish song. David Chernack ’17 played guitar and Rebecca Weiss ’18 played violin. There was a small number of people at the event, which created an opportunity for the audience to feel as if they were directly connected to the performers. The next song was more of a folk song, where Weiss improvised by “flatfooting” (a dance that emphasizes the percussion-like sound of feet stomping along to the rhythm), while Chernack switched to the mandolin. For their last song, the band surprised the audience with an emotional rendition of “Wagon Wheel” by Darius Rucker. They not only played instruments but sung along to the music as well.

TBA acted out comedy skits. The first one engaged the audience by asking them to come up with a name for a movie that has never come out before. One student shouted out, “The Man Without an Arm.” The scene kept on changing as the actor continued playing along with the theme of loss in different types of genres of film, for instance in the “cowboy” genre. The scene concluded with one of the actresses announcing, “This town ain’t big enough for the two of your arms.” Their last bit included the line game, “I like my men/women like I like my ….” The funniest ones that the group members thought up were, “I like my men like I like my shoes—with a long tongue,” and “I like my women like I like my shoes—all tied up.”

Another one of their skits required a TBA member to step out of the room. While the member was gone, the audience had to come up with something relating to an environmental concern. The TBA member had to guess what the situation was once they stepped back into the room. The audience came up with, “polluting streams by having sex with Tiger Woods in the mountains.” The rest of the TBA members acted as though they were newscasters, asking questions to the member onstage that alluded to Tiger Woods, sex and pollution.

The next act, Voices of Soul, made my skin shiver in awe. Their voices have such power and intensity. They sung “Hit ’Em Up Style” with an incredible variation of strong voices and beats. The song they concluded with was particularly memorable. They recreated Marvin Gaye’s “I Heard It Through The Grapevine” and group member Sam Bhutto ’16 did a great job of hitting the high notes and putting a twist on Gaye’s original voluminous voice.

The SEA coffeehouse created a safe space to let expression flow creatively, exploring the theme of environmental action through song and improv comedy. The Charles River Ramblers set the mood for a relaxing environment, and Voices of Soul intensified that spiritual setting. TBA provided comic relief to the show by parodying the stereotypes of different movie genres. They also provided improv scenes that subtly promoted helping the environment.

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