The comedy show is the culmination of a semester’s work in English 307: Studies in Fiction and Poetry: Stylistics. Every fall the course is offered as “Gram-O-Rama,” the same name given to their textbook, written by UNC English professor Daphne Athas in the 1970s.
The current professor Ross White took over from Marianne Gingher this semester, who took over from Athas in 2007 after co-teaching the class with her for six years until Athas’ retirement.
“I taught it from 2007 to this year when I passed the torch to Ross White. I’m not saying that I’ll never teach it again, but I think it’s the sort of course that benefits from the infusion of fresh ideas, younger faculty,” she said.
Senior Lauren O’Connor takes the class as part of a much smaller legacy — she saw the show when her housemate performed in it last year and loved it.
“At first, it put me out of my comfort zone because I was nervous to be in front of people, and I felt vulnerable, but after we got to know each other well, it was a really fun thing, and it became really normal to be ridiculous,” she said. “It was a lot of work, but it was totally worth it, and it’s been probably one of my favorite classes at UNC.”
For the first half of the course, students worked together to create approximately 200 sketches based on different grammatical principles. The students, who are required to pass an interview for enrollment, become a tight-knit group during the semester.
Senior Annie Harrison said the process was highly collaborative.
“We get into pairs and small groups, and we would meet outside of class and brainstorm ideas for what the exercise was and write the whole script together,” she said.