Why not
e-mail us?




Reader's Forum



Free Box







Faculty/Staff directory

Mocha Madness Celebrates a Decade on Day of the Dead

Brooke Burger

Creative Society

   Beginning around the early to mid 1990s, the Creative Society started hosting Mocha Madness, an entertainment show featuring original poetry, prose, music, art, dancing and other creative forms of entertainment, following the tradition of the English Honor Society's Tongue Lashings.

   In keeping with the madness, the Creative Society remains somewhat unsure of the exact number of Mocha's hosted since the 1990s. Though this may mark the 23rd Mocha Madness show, the group plans to celebrate as if it were the 20th show.

   Since Mocha Madness occurs once a semester, the 20th performance makes the event a decade old. The Creative Society will celebrate Mocha's 10-year mark on Dia de la Muerte or Day of the Dead, a historical Hispanic celebration that occurs Nov. 1.

   Following the tradition of Mocha Madness, the event will take place at 7 p.m. in the Patio Cafe, located in the John F. Gibson University Center. As always, homemade cookies, five blends of coffee, hot chocolate and teas will be provided free of charge for everyone who attends. Though the Society will provide cups, attendees are encouraged to bring their own favorite coffee mug to enjoy the celebration and delicious coffees.

   Adviser of the Creative Society Gary Marshall, professor of speech communications, sent out an e-mail requesting individuals to sign up to perform their original work or display original artistry. However, if anyone missed the chance to get on the program, the event will feature an open mic session at the end of the show.

   Performers will have five minutes to show off their creativity. Every year the Creative Society comes up with a prize to offer the performers. In the past, performers received handmade ceramic mugs from Assistant Professor of Art Scott Lykens, T-shirts designed and created by Creative Society members and other ceramic containers and mugs created by ceramic students.

   This year the brave individuals who climb the Patio stage for five minutes of UAM fame will receive a bar of handmade soap. Charlotte Wales provided the soaps, which have a special scent created specifically for Mocha Madness.

   As Marshall joked, "Everyone who brings art for display or performs will take home a prize to help clean up their act."

   The members of the Creative Society plan to decorate the Patio Cafe and stage in spirit of Day of the Dead. Last year, the performance occurred on Halloween, and members held a pumpkin carving party to provide centerpiece decorations for the tables. Members this year made ceramic skulls and tombstones to decorate the tables.

   As in past years, the group will cover the tables in white paper and provide crayons for audience members to release some of their own creative juices. Though the papers are thrown away at the end of the show, coloring with crayons brings back a warm feeling from childhood and provides everyone a chance to show off their artsy skills.

   During last year's Halloween Mocha, the Creative Society featured a costume contest, which long-time Mocha fan and performer Robert Moore's wife Chandrika won as a majorette.  Robert Moore, a professor of English, also uses the name red hawk. This year, a contest has not been planned, but the group encourages everyone to wear their Halloween costumes.

   Each semester, members of the Creative Society work diligently to pull together then event for the campus and town communities. Led by the choragus, an ancient Greek work meaning leader of the chorus, the Society members plan the event, design and make the decorations, bake the cookies, brew the coffee, as well as the grunt work like chalking sidewalks, papering the campus in fliers and recruiting new and original acts.

   Choragus Shannon Stivison led the Creative Society for the past three Mocha Madness shows, often juggling the majority of the work herself. This year, Stivison added a little more to her plate by making sure the Creative Society gained representation during Homecoming week by painting a Spirit Wall and creating a float for the parade.

   With the funding by the Student Activities Board and the hard work of the Creative Society choragus, the adviser and the members, the 20th-ish celebration of Mocha Madness is sure to be a hit. Each year, the variety of performances seems to expand, incorporating improvisation and comedy skits as well as fashion shows and light show dancing.

   Come to the Patio Cafe, Nov. 1 at 7 p.m., to see what the creative minds of the University came up with this year. Remember to bring your own mug and an open mind.

   For more information about Mocha Madness or the Creative Society, contact Marshall at 460-1947 or or Stivison at

   The Creative Society is open to anyone interested.  The group meets every Thursday at 12:40 p.m. outside the Patio Cafe (inside if raining).


 Have a comment? Please e-mail us.

ŠThe Voice 2007
Revised 09/17/2007 07:50:05 PM —