The Decaturian is Millikin's student-run newspaper. The opinions reflected may not be those of Millikin as an institution.

The Decaturian

The Decaturian is Millikin's student-run newspaper. The opinions reflected may not be those of Millikin as an institution.

The Decaturian

The Decaturian is Millikin's student-run newspaper. The opinions reflected may not be those of Millikin as an institution.

The Decaturian

Level Up with Physical Graffiti

Rachel Silvey

Physical Graffiti is back and better than ever.

After the success of Reign, the student-led hip-hop group is proud to announce their final show of the year, Level Up, featuring everyone’s favorite retro and modern video games. 

Cate Phillips has been involved with Physical Graffiti since her first year at Millikin. She was a crew member for Back to School and Hidden (2021-2022) and served as the vice president for Wonderland and Step Right Up (2022-2023) before taking over as the president. 

“When I became the president, I knew that I wanted to do a video game show so badly. And I was like, it would be really great if it was my last show [so], I really pushed for it,” she said.

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Phillips is excited for audiences to see her dream come to life as it is different from anything Physical Graffiti has done in the past. 

“The audience is actually going to be able to pick the order of the show. It is like [they] are in the player’s seat of getting to select which game they see first.” 

In addition to audience participation, junior Kerrigan Dunham will be Physical Graffiti’s first emcee. 

“We like to tell stories through dance, usually throughout our entire show. We’re going to tell stories through individual dances [this time]. Each dance is going to have its own story, so that’s a different challenge that we tackled this semester,” Phillips said. 

Physical Graffiti has always consisted of a diverse group of dancers. Phillips strived to preserve the integrity of the group by prioritizing passion over perfection during the audition process. 

“I created the audition combo which is a part of our closer. It consisted of some floorwork, some fast movements to see how quickly some people picked up on choreography. [It] also involved an improv section just to see how people move,” she said. “Mostly what I looked for was how much fun people were having. If you have never taken a dance class in your life, it doesn’t matter to me as long as you are having fun.” 

Out of the 50 auditionees, 30 were cast. 

“It’s about 20 returning people and 10 new people. We did get a lot of first years, but we had some new juniors and seniors so that was pretty exciting,” said Phillips. 

Phillips started taking hip-hop classes in the sixth grade, but she hasn’t had the chance to since high school until college. “PG is where I found a lot of my love for dance rather than this is just what I’m doing, it’s a job and all that stuff.” 

As president, Phillips has been a catalyst in pushing for communication between members of the executive board by having regular meetings. 

“In the past, the executive board has been very… each person does their task and there’s not a lot of talking among the executive board; no one really knows what everyone else is doing. Whereas I feel like I’ve created the executive board to be more of a collaborative environment to speak to one another,” she said.

Phillips is heavily involved on campus outside of being the president of Physical Graffiti and relies on her organization skills to stay afloat. 

“I’m a campus tour guide and I also work in the Office of Admission. I was a Student Experience Ambassador for the fall 2023; I led a seminar class of Honors students, which was really cool and exciting. I’m a member of Alpha Chi Omega on campus and a BFA Musical Theatre major so my schedule is packed. I’m also taking 21 credits and I’m an honors student,” she said.

In addition to all of this, Phillips completed her capstone with Conner Schroeder last month, a Muppet cabaret that sold out with standing seats added in Pilling Chapel. 

“I had just had to work really hard on time management and completing assignments on time,” Phillips said. “I use my Google Calendar regularly.”

When asked about the future of Physical Graffiti, Phillips had a clear vision. 

“I hope that PG continues to be a really strong community of dancers who just love to story tell through dance and are passionate,” she said. 

Any dancers interested in joining Physical Graffiti are welcome to attend auditions at the beginning of every semester. They are also always looking for people to work backstage as outside hires in photography, videography, and now stage management. 

“We have a Stage Manager this year, Hannah Swan. We never did that before this year,” Phillips said, adding to the long list of new things the group has accomplished under her jurisdiction. 

Those who want to work backstage should email [email protected] for more information. 

Be sure to join Physical Graffiti on Saturday, May 11th at 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. in CTD 300 for a nostalgia-filled evening right before finals! 

“It’s going to be a packed day because UnBitButter also has their show after us at 10pm and midnight on the Ashtray. Everyone should go see both of those student works,” Phillips said.

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About the Contributor
Ella Bianchi
Ella Bianchi is a Professional Writing major with minors in Publishing & Editing and Theatre. They are also pursuing an Arts Entrepreneurship certificate. On campus he serves as the Marketing Director for Pipe Dreams Studio Theatre and Social/Marketing Chair for Millikin CARE. Ella is an active member of Delta Sigma Phi Fraternity, Gregory, and Lyrical Ammunition. Writer '23-'24

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