CENTER HIGHLIGHT: Hot Chocolate Party Memories!






It was great seeing many of you at the Hot Chocolate Party on Monday. For those of you who weren’t able to attend: we had hot chocolate and other goodies, made the students and volunteers sit together and bond (Ha!), introduced our five new ushers, and also NDSF’s Artistic Director Grant Mudge let us know what’s in store for all things Shakespeare this year.


In August the Decio will house 14 performances of Othello! We look forward to it. In addition, the Touring Company will be performing The Merchant of Venice at venues all around the area. It should be a great (and hopefully warm) summer!



Here are some more pictures from the event:



CENTER HIGHLIGHT 2: 1/28 Video Conference with Mohamedou Ould Slahi


Our event on Sunday January 28th is shaping up to be pretty big. The live video conference with Mohamedou Ould Slahi is known across campus as: Torture and Forgiveness at Guantánamo Bay: A Conversation with Mohamedou Ould Slahi.


For a little bit about Mohamedou and this special event, here you go:

Mohamedou Ould Slahi’s Guantánamo Diary, a first-hand account of his inhumane treatment as a prisoner at the Guantánamo Bay detention center, created a sensation when it was published in January 2015. Though heavily redacted by government censors, Slahi’s story of enduring humanity in the face of extreme hatred and suffering raised the level of discourse concerning our use of torture, approaches to addressing terrorism, and Muslim identity.

After more than 14 years of imprisonment, Slahi was released from Guantánamo Bay and is residing in his native Mauritania. The Center for Civil and Human Rights is now organizing a videoconference with Slahi on the occasion of the publication of the restored edition of his memoir, allowing the Notre Dame community to engage with him live. The event will also include expert discussants Larry Siems, the editor of Guantánamo Diary, and Juan Méndez, Former UN Special Rapporteur on Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment and former CCHR Director. The event will be moderated by Christine Cervenak, Associate Director of the Center for Civil and Human Rights.

The Sunday videoconference will be supplemented by related activities across campus

Torture and Forgiveness at Guantánamo Bay is a free, but ticketed event. Seating is limited and will be available beginning Monday, January 22 at 12:00 p.m. 

For more on this event please go to the website:

CENTER HIGHLIGHT: Learning Beyond the Classics in the Browning

Wednesdays this semester in the Browning, DPAC will cover important films of 1968 AND it will be offered as a (non-credit) class for the participants. The series will  feature talks with FTT professors and our own Cinema Director Ricky Herbst. Here is a little info on this:


The year 1968 stands as one of the most tumultuous in modern history. In the U.S., 1968 was marked by the assassinations of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert Kennedy, by the escalation of the war in Vietnam, by protests in the streets and at national political conventions, and by an election that carried Richard Nixon back into power. Globally, civic protests in Paris nearly brought down the government, and the push against Soviet power created the Prague Spring, which ushered in political liberalization.

Media were intertwined with these events as media in various forms shifted radically. Television news in the U.S. expanded to 30 minutes and added color, and prime-time programs dramatized narratives that incorporated the civil rights movement and other social changes. In Hollywood, the studio system and decency codes that dominated American cinema since the 1930s dissolved as independent producers and documentarians pioneered new forms of storytelling and visual representation.

This Learning Beyond the Classics Series poses a central question: what do the revolutions of 1968 mean to us today? How do the films, television programs, and print media of that time speak to our current moment?

This course is for general education and no credit is offered. Those who sign up for the series are not required to produce essays or take exams. Nothing is required to be brought to the weekly screenings, other than your ticket. Course materials will be emailed prior to each screening.

Learning Beyond the Classics is a new venture that looks to bring the film studies classroom experience to the general public. The series includes a weekly reading, a recorded introduction to the film you can listen to at your leisure, and a discussion after the film. All are welcome to sign up for the series. Come to explore and appreciate classic films at a new level.

Ricky has mentioned that if any if you want to participate and receive the course materials, please let us know. The fee for the course will be waived for all volunteers. For more info on this and a list of the films that will be shown, please go to the website:


VOLUNTEER HIGHLIGHT: Volunteer and Student Staff Christmas Party!

Thanks to all of you who braved the cold and joined us for our annual Christmas dinner. It was great to see so many of you and many student workers and DPAC staff as well. I hope that fun was had by all!

Let’s recap for those of you who couldn’t make it.










This year your Christmas cards contain not only your Spring 2018 Presenting Series discount voucher but also a special gift from ND Development. The Special Events & Stewardship section of Development sent over Notre Dame pins that are part of the University’s new “Boldly” campaign. They were sent to thank you all for your help with the many successful performances of Sorin this past semester. We thank you too! You did such a great job, they’re bringing it back next month!





Thanks to our tech department as they did a great job decorating. We had, for the first time, the yule log on the video screen in the Philbin. Very festive!





We had the pleasure of future music superstar Alex Mansour playing Christmas songs on the piano throughout dinner. He even accompanied Usher Reynaldo for a searing rendition of Reynaldo’s hit song: Shoveling in a Winter Wonderland! Special thanks to Alex, as he was gracious enough to take time out of preparing for finals to play for us. We’ll miss him this semester as he will be studying abroad in London.






After dinner we each shared our favorite Christmas songs. Many, many songs to choose from. I think close to 50 were named!  Would have to say the most popular were O Holy Night and Mary, Did You Know? Many Pentatonix fans among you! My personal favorite is 80’s hard rock band Twisted Sister’s version of O Come All Ye Faithful. It is both joyful and triumphant! Okay…fine, I’m sure Pentatonix does that too!

We closed the evening with an ill-advised complete reading of the soon-to-be-classic: A Die Hard Christmas. Whoops, forgot that movie was violent! Oh well, maybe next year I’ll read The Polar Express or something else with more Christmas cheer!


For those who were unable to be with us, we will be mailing you a Christmas card, which contains your Spring 2018 Presenting Series discount voucher. We’ll give you the Boldly Notre Dame pins when you’re in for your next shift.

Well that’s it for 2017. Thanks again to all of you for giving us so much of your time this year! Look forward to seeing you all in 2018!

CENTER HIGHLIGHT: Opera Notre Dame presents Opera Scenes


This weekend in the Decio brings us: Opera Notre Dame presents Opera Scenes. Opera ND usually has a big run in the Spring, but this academic year they’re having two shows in December instead. Here is the info:


Opera Notre Dame presents an evening of opera scenes featuring our talented students, graduates, and guest artists. Scenes will be performed from operas by Mozart, Offenbach, Donizetti, Gilbert & Sullivan, Rossini, and many others, ranging from Baroque to Contemporary, Standard to Rarity. Directed by Alek Shrader. Conducted by Daniel Black. Dialogue or vocals in a foreign language. This is a free but ticketed event.

The shifts are Sunday December 3rd 3:00 PM and Tuesday December 5th 6:00 PM. Spaces are available so to any ushers with low hours, this is a great chance to fulfill your 2017 requirement. Please consider.


CENTER HIGHLIGHT: Alex Mansour Saves the Day!

Our resident piano man and all around talented guy Alex Mansour had an article written about him and how at the last minute he was able to compose and record a piece to go on the Stadium videoboard right before kickoff.

Check out the link below and best of luck to Alex tonight!

CENTER HIGHLIGHT: This Wednesday you will learn The Importance of Being Earnest!

The latest FTT performance starts Wednesday in the Decio. Still need much help! Check it out as it should be a great show. Here is the official FTT press release:

The University of Notre Dame’s Department of Film, Television, and Theatre (FTT) announces Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest, in the Patricia George Decio Theatre at the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center, November 8-12, 2017

In Wilde’s “trivial comedy for serious people,” first performed in London in 1895, both ladies and gentlemen concoct elaborate fictions in order to evade the burdensome conventions of polite society – and hilarity ensues.  

Guest director Mark Seamon, an FTT alumnus (‘98), describes the overall approach to the production as “period beautiful.” Part of the fun, he says, is “seeing how ridiculously these people behave within this beautiful and opulent environment.”

In 1997, Seamon became the first theatre student in decades to direct a department production  on the Washington Hall mainstage. Currently serving as Director of Merit Scholarship Enrollment for the university, Seamon returns to direct Earnest on the 20th anniversary of his student directorial debut.

The production features an all-student cast, as well as costumes by Richard E. Donnelly, lighting design by Kevin Dreyer, and scenic design by Marcus Stephens.

There you go. Have a great week!