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‘Dome-ish’ to explore on-campus diversity

| Wednesday, March 7, 2018

In spite of its fame, Notre Dame’s Golden Dome has yet to be featured in the name of a television program. That changes Wednesday with the premiere of “Dome-ish”, a four-part sketch comedy series reflecting issues of diversity at Notre Dame.

The show’s producers — seniors Coty Miller, Chandler Turner and Geralyn Smith — said they hope “Dome-ish” will tell stories about minority groups on campus.

“We really want students to kind of understand the positions that minority students have been placed in and hopefully see that and want to either change their views, change how they approach situations,” Miller said. “[We want students] to sympathize more.”

The miniseries, which will consist of four 15-minute episodes, was created in collaboration with Multicultural Student Program and Services (MSPS) and NDtv, Miller said. The program aims to counter stereotypes and educate the campus community about diversity in a “comedic way.”

“Think of it as the funny ‘Show Some Skin,’” Turner said.

Each episode will feature roughly three skits highlighting specific issues, Miller explained. Examples of issues include the experiences of students who come from families with low socioeconomic status, stereotypes surrounding athletes and the daily struggles students of color and the LGBTQ community.

“In our promo video, we talked about how a lot of times professors can’t tell the difference between different black students, or even students of color in general,” Miller said.

The production process aimed to involve as many students who were interested in getting film production experience as possible, the producers said. Anyone can submit a skit for the producers’ consideration. The show will also include skits written by the producers.

Once the producers have decided to use a skit, they reach out to people to help out with production. Both Miller and Turner expressed hope that “Dome-ish” will continue to be produced in future semesters.

“In the beginning, before we started writing content and all of that, we reached out to see who was interested in general,” Miller said. “A lot of people got back to us and they just wanted to get involved with production and acting in general, and so based on that interest those are the people we reach out to automatically. More and more people start reaching out the more they hear about it, so we try to include as many people as possible.”

The title “Dome-ish” is derived from the ABC sitcom “Black-ish” and its spin-off, “Grown-ish.” The producers said that it is meant to signify the fact that many minority students do not get the full “Notre Dame experience” while they are students at the University.

“We kind of played off the whole ‘Black-ish’ and ‘Grown-ish’ ideas where they’re saying they’re ‘black-ish,’ so what people typically expect black people to be like, they’re kind of like that in terms of … cause they’re black and they do have some similarities with the stereotypes and black experiences, but it’s an ‘ish’ kind of thing,” Miller said. “We’re saying these students kind of get that Notre Dame experience being here, they get a lot of the same experiences other students do but there’s a lot of experiences that they’re not able to get and their experiences are different.

“So, the typical Notre Dame experience people get and walk with and tell people about, which is a good experience, they’re kind of getting that. They’re unfortunately not able to get that typical Notre Dame experience and that’s where the ‘ish’ comes from.”

Turner said one of the key goals of the “Dome-ish” project is to tell the stories of students who are often forgotten or overlooked.

“One goal of mine is to add to the Notre Dame narrative,” Turner said. “A lot of times Notre Dame just pushes one type of Notre Dame student or one type of narrative and with this visual representation of a lot of the students that go here that don’t feel represented quite so right. So, we’re giving students the chance to write their own narratives and that’s really important to us.”

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About Tom Naatz

Tom is a senior at University of Notre Dame. He is majoring in Political Science and Spanish and is originally from Rockville, Maryland. Formerly The Observer's Notre Dame News Editor, he's now a proud columnist for the paper.

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