Absurdity in Action

A look inside the Registered Student Organization Theatre of the Absurd.

Walking into the dimly lit Wightman room, the film artists have organized. Everyone is called a creator, a friend, an officer and a member of this little art film aficionado organization called the Theatre of the Absurd.

They come not knowing what will be shown that week, but they know it is going to be different than last time.

Sometimes the projector flickers with films created by members for the show, which is slowly coming together in the Extended Hours Lab in Park Library. Other times, it’s a film series by Björk’s husband. Often, it is whatever they find on YouTube.

At the beginning of the semester, they tried to define what Theatre of the Absurd means. The answer lies somewhere in the works they create.


Absurd means impromptu ghost stories with photos from the Library of Congress. Absurd means half an hour of TV static. Absurd means singing light bulbs. Absurd means having a good time just viewing things of strange nature for no other reason than they can.

They started making films at meetings with prompts like “Fire”, inspiring people to create. They have a hard time inspiring people simply to show up. Room 125 desks are very empty, and the president’s brow furrows with concern about the future of the RSO.

“We need to brainstorm ideas because we’re lacking in membership,” Christopher Roy said.

Silence. That’s pretty normal for the Monday night group. It isn’t that they aren’t listening. It’s that they’re doing what they naturally do: quietly contemplating what’s happening.

When they do speak, the wit springs out in a back and forth banter in subtle ways, just like the films.

“I know it officially says that you’re the vice president, but I like to think of you as co-president,” Roy says lovingly to Troy Vonklingler.

“I like to think I’m like Dick Cheney, and I’m controlling things behind the scenes,” Vonklinger shoots back with a smirk.