ADAMANDI: A Dark Academia Horror Musical, Mel Hornyak, UG '23 and Elliot Lee, UG '23 (2264585)
Adamandi: A Latin verb that can mean 'of loving,' but also 'of coveting' and 'of obsessing.' Academia is defined by blurring the boundaries between these concepts, and so too is ADAMANDI, a new dark academia horror musical written by Mel Hornyak and Elliot Lee '23. This show was inspired by the genre of Dark Academia (think Dead Poets' Society, Another Country, and The Secret History), stories about elite private schools that praise academics, the classics, and self-destruction in the pursuit of knowledge. The main characters of these stories are typically young, White, cis men, but during the pandemic, more diverse communities became fascinated - some might say obsessed - with the aesthetics of elite education; with this new attention came the question of how this genre would accomodate a focus on more diverse students. ADAMANDI explores how the pressure on students at elite institutions to push themselves in pursuit of success becomes all the more intense for students who don't fit the Dark Academia ideal- whether that is because of their race, economic background, gender identity, or sexuality. It follows five students pursuing independent projects for the prestigious Phaethon Prize, exceeding their physical, mental, and moral limits as they navigate the thin line between love and obsession - for their academics, for their school, and for each other. Through this show, we hope the unique pressures that marginalized students face, and the complicity of all of us in the systems that perpetuate them, can be recognized and overcome.