I talk about Stanford quite a lot—I really like being here!—and since I’m a computer science major, that means I mainly talk about computer-related stuff. For example, I suspect that all my friends have heard of Stanford’s highly respected Computer Science department by now. But lately I find myself talking less about computers and more about art—and I’m pretty sure I know why.

Jotthe Kannappan '16 spins during one of Basmati Raas's performances.

Jotthe Kannappan ’16 spins during one of Basmati Raas’s performances.

Toyon Hall, where I live, has a gigantic lounge—it easily sits over a hundred people. Every so often student groups at Stanford will reserve the room for performances, and since I live here, I get to watch them for free! In just the past two months, we’ve had performances by Fleet Street, Stanford Ceili, Basmati Raas, Mixed Company, and Melanie Fiona. We don’t only use the lounge for performances, either—just last week it held an informational presentation on Stanford’s leadership-focused summer residential program.

In fact, my proximity to the performances has encouraged me to explore new genres of art of which I’d would otherwise be wary. For example, before coming to Stanford, I’d seen a grand total of one musical in my entire life: Disney’s Lion King on Broadway (when I was a little kid.) Since living in Toyon, I’ve seen two this year alone—1776 (in San Francisco) and My Fair Lady. 1776 is one of several musicals that my RF’s subsidize—my dorm has also gone to see The Book of Mormon and we’re going to see Mamma Mia in a few weeks.

A lively scene from My Fair Lady, a student-produced musical. Photo obtained via Asia Chiao.

A lively scene from My Fair Lady, a student-produced musical. Photo obtained via Asia Chiao.

I have to give a special shoutout to My Fair Lady—it was completely student-produced and it was amazing. And my RA, Asia Chiao ’15, put in HOURS of work designing the costumes for the musical—and you could tell. It was great.

So yeah, living in Toyon has made me really start enjoying the arts. In fact, I’m thinking about taking a visit to Cantor Arts Center the next time I get some free time. The arts are great!


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