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Arts Alliance (Northwestern University)



The Arts Alliance, Northwestern University's student organization for the performing arts, was formed circa 1974, taking under its wing several pre-existing groups: Orgy of the Arts, Garden Party Productions, the Northwestern Dance Company, the Dolphin Show, and the Gilbert and Sullivan Guild. By 1980, Project Productions and Arts Alliance General Accounts were added, making seven affiliated groups in all. The groups are comprised of students from all University schools and classes, both graduate and undergraduate. These students, except for musicians paid a nominal fee, volunteer their time on Arts Alliance projects.

Orgy of the Arts is best known perhaps for its Mee-Ow show, begun in 1974 as a parody of Northwestern's noted Waa-Mu show. Mee-Ow, an improvisational comedy revue, stages an annual production each spring.*

Orgy of the Arts, along with Garden Party Productions has been responsible for many of the student-produced, student directed, and student-cast shows held in Norris Center.

The Northwestern Dance Company formed in the fall of 1974 under the auspices of Orgy of the Arts and the Activities and Organizations Board of Northwestern's Associated Student Government. Upon the Dance Company's affiliation with the Arts Alliance, it attained independent status within the Alliance. The Dance Company generally performs twice each year, in winter and spring.

The Dolphin Show had a long life before it became a part of the Arts Alliance. It began in 1948 as a water ballet in the Patten Gymnasium swimming pool. Gradually it adopted more dry-land elements and began presenting Broadway-style musicals poolside. In 1970 the Dolphin Show abandoned its aquatic past and moved to the Cahn Auditorium where it presents one musical each year.

The Gilbert and Sullivan Guild originated in 1967 and, as its name suggests, produces Gilbert and Sullivan comic operas. In addition to an annual production, it occasionally performs for various community groups.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Records of the Arts Alliance

Identifier: 31/6/25

The Arts Alliance is Northwestern University's student organization for the performing arts. The records of the Arts Alliance fill two boxes and include materials documenting five of its component organizations: Garden Party Productions, Orgy of the Arts, the Dolphin Show, the Gilbert and Sullivan Guild, and the Northwestern Dance Company. The records span the years from 1967 to 1983, with the bulk clustered between 1976 and 1979.

Dates: 1950-2002