Ode to the A&A

Thank you, Arts and Athletics center, for everything. We quite literally, figuratively, and emotionally couldn’t do it without you.

Adam Richins Photography

Thank you, Arts and Athletics center, for everything. We quite literally, figuratively, and emotionally couldn’t do it without you.

I imagine if you set up a time-lapse camera in the A&A, you could get a pretty accurate reflection of the history of Montrose in the past few years. All the different functions it plays for our school capture a little bit of the enthusiasm, synergy, connection, resilience, joy, and awe that this little school can hold.

In 2020, when the varsity basketball team made it to the finals, the building was filled to the brim and the crowd seeped from the mezzanine and seats to the edges of the court. As various activities ended, the crowd grew until finally at the end of the game, there wasn’t even standing room left, unless you planned on joining the seats on the bench. While the score stood 27-27 at the end of the third quarter and the time was ticking down, the crowd alternated between jubilant shouts of victory to hushed silence following the natural flow of the fast breaks of the game to the well-thought plays enacted by the point guard. In the last seconds of the game, Montrose pulled through to victory and the cheers were deafening. It was one of those slow-mo moments in a movie where they play sentimental music and put a black and white filter over the scene. Little did we know this would be one of the last sports games before we left campus for the year.


The 2020 varsity basketball team celebrating after winning the IGC finals. (Adam Richins Photography)


Seven months later we found ourselves again in the A&A, this time trying a new version of the annual handshake tradition, as we waved at each other, masked and six feet apart. The space was again repurposed as a home room to the tenth grade, who spent their student life periods sprawled throughout the A&A pretending to be sitting on the blue tape marks. Besides being the only place large amounts of people could gather inside, the building took a break from its busy life as all its usual functions couldn’t function. No more assemblies, common home rooms, concerts, acapella jams, or games were allowed. 

Slowly but surely, it came back to life, with the production of Les Mis in May and basketball’s “covid classic” in January. April brought back modified assemblies, with the juniors and seniors in the A&A for the junior ring ceremony while everyone else watched from classrooms or the M&M.  In November the stage was used again for 12 Angry Women. Maybe it was good to give it a break — it does so much that sometimes you worry that maybe it’s too much. But maybe too much is just enough.

The junior ring ceremony for the class of 2022 was modified a bit, but they were still able to have it. (Adam Richins Photography)

Last year we welcomed common home rooms back, albeit with some finagling. The first few months saw Stud Gov mourning our inability to use the A&A for its usual uses but rejoicing that we could at least see a rematch of the seniors and sophomores in class v. class dodgeball on Miracle Field. Basketball was back in business and again won the championship. It was different than it was two years ago — less people and modified rules — but it was a glimpse at what used to be. 

This week, the A&A seemed to me fully alive and functioning. With tech week for Clue, the volleyball NEPSAC championship, and a lip sync battle CHR, the building lit up in all its original glory. I passed through its doors countless times this week: to get the speaker for the Fasten show, to grab much needed bobby pins and hair spray before the play, and to choreograph a mini Stud Gov lip sync. The mezzanine was occupied by mics and cross country girls, the court was taken by volleyball, and backstage was filled with Montrose thespians. Maybe this is a little cheesy, so forgive me, but it felt like a lived-in house. During Covid, it was like a house without furniture or like an establishment of business where you go to work but leave at the end of the day to go home. And this week was the moment when you realize that the “new house” you moved into a while ago has become home to you again.

The cast and crew of Clue spent hours in the A&A perfecting the show to make it the best it could be. (Adam Richins Photography)

The opening night of Clue was probably the culmination of the comeback of the A&A. It was like being at that championship basketball game again, with an audience of people following the ebb and flow of the action, their laughter mirroring the pace of the show. It brought people together and held them there for an instant, all these people from different threads of the tapestry coming to one place at the same time for the same purpose. The A&A was lived in again!

So, I suppose this is just a little thank you. Thank you, Arts and Athletics center, for housing our class v. class dodgeballs again, our epic volleyball games, our crazy winter track people who choose willingly to run in the cold, our mother-daughter brunch, our Thursday of tech week fine-tuning of the last scene of the play as everyone fell apart, our buttling, our basketball tryouts, our pretty much everything at this point. We quite literally, figuratively, and emotionally couldn’t do it without you.


Theresa Marcucci ‘23, Associate Editor-in-Chief