What Lies Beneath
mason hall
Graffiti photo by Ariadne Condos

Under Mason Hall's cavernous stage in the Lawrence and Eris Field Building (better known as 17 Lex) are several dank storage rooms that are remarkable for one reason: their walls (and, in some cases, ceilings, doors, and air ducts) are covered with colorful graffiti documenting past student productions. The effect of this striking artwork in its dim underground lair is reminiscent of something uncovered by an archeological dig. Though most of the shows commemorated are from the 1950s through the 1980s, there are a few earlier and later citations. (Mason Hall has not been used extensively for student productions since the late 1980s.)

Along with the many student actors memorialized in the graffiti are plays and musicals—and the years they were produced. Included are Tea and Sympathy ('59), Stalag 17 ('62), The Pajama Game ('65), Steambath ('74), Once Upon a Mattress ('75), Our Town ('75), Kiss Me, Kate ('77), My Sister Eileen ('79), and Little Mary Sunshine ('80), to name a few.