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The Secrets of the Pit

Patrick Hawkins, Art & Entertainment Editor

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What is the giant ten-foot hole that lies at the foot of the auditorium stage? The pit has been one of the most controversial places within the entire school for as long as it has been here. Many rumours have been spread about what may go on in the hidden area. Are all of the stories true?

Every once in awhile a conversation comes up about the shenanigans that may take place down in the vacant hole. Do students really go down there for drug use, and to participate in other activities that would otherwise be considered grounds for suspension or even expulsion? Even a few teachers have heard of the wild tales. “I started hearing things 13 years ago.” Mr. Morell said in regards to his time in the pit. Although many stories from the pit may be fictional, no one can say that the auditorium doesn’t have the occasional “skunky” smell.

The real usage of the pit generally goes unknown to the populous of the student body, but there was a purpose. It was made for the orchestra to play and accompany different performances while being hidden, but still provide the volume of being directly on the stage. When in use, the pit is uncovered and a hole as wide as the stage is revealed. If you have ever seen the uncovered pit, you would know how gaping and scary it may seem. It may also come across as very strange and untraditional, but we are not the only stage or school to have an empty space for music to be orchestrated. According to “What is an Orchestra Pit?” on, orchestra pits have been around since the 1500s and 1600s and were often referred to as “yards.” The pits, or yards, had multiple uses. The two main purposes were for orchestrated music, or standing space for the lower class to watch theatrical performances that were not accompanied by music. Since these times, the construction, placement, and usage of orchestra pits has been greatly altered and modernized.

Next time you have a discussion about the ongoings of the pit, you will have a better understanding of what it is really meant to be used for. This doesn’t mean that the area isn’t used for the cultivation of bad habits and promiscuous activities. So what can be done to put these rumours to bed? Can there be better measures to keep students out of the auditorium, and more importantly, the pit when it shouldn’t be used? Administration could install surveillance systems, or even lock the dungeon-like hatches that lead down into the depths of the vacant space. Whatever measures are taken to further secure the auditorium, we know rumours are rumours. It is settling to know the true meaning and usage behind the orchestra pit. Although having a clearer understanding of the pit may make the area just a little more comforting, the rumors and stories stay just as controversial.  

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The Secrets of the Pit