Hartke’s Pride

I used to be a member of the Mafia. The “Catholic Mafia,” that is. Still confusing this with a small town in Sicilia known as Corleone? Really, it’s not like that at all. This is a term used by alumni of the Catholic University of America’s small but illustrious drama department to explain the phenom of CUA graduates constantly bumping into each other throughout their theater careers. Though I’ve long left that world behind, I still try and keep up with my alma mater, especially now that two of my fantastic mentors when I was in school are currently running the department.

So I thought I’d alert you to a fundraising event they are having February 3 ($30), 4 and 5 ($25). Billed as a “Reunion” of four distinguished alumni – Philip Bosco, David Sabin, Robert Mili, and Barbara Andres – it’s a staged reading of George Bernard Shaw’s “Don Juan in Hell” at the Hartke Theater.

Many years ago at the beginnings of the Washington theater scene, CUA’s drama department was the only gig in town. It should be a real treat to see actors from that generation together and then be able to mingle with them and other members of the “Mafia” afterwards at a post-show reception (that’s only on the night of 2/3, unfortunately my birthday so I’ll have to miss it).

All proceeds will go to the Dean’s Scholarship Endowment, providing financial assistance for Drama Department undergraduates. People would be mistaken to think that Catholic has a large endowment. And the proud history of the Drama Department, intertwined with the history of Washington theater, shouldn’t be ignored. For more on that legacy, check out a biography of the founder, Father Hartke.

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