UA Engineering Theater Group Presents ‘All the Great Books Abridged’

  • March 12th, 2013

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. —The University of Alabama’s College of Engineering Does Amateur Radical Theater, or COE Does ART, will parody classic literature in its production of “Engineers Present: All the Great Books Abridged.”

The students will perform on campus in H.M. Comer Hall at 7 p.m. March 15 and again March 16 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.  About 85 classic books will be satirized in some form, including “Don Quixote,”  “The Odyssey,”  “War and Peace,” “Oliver Twist” and “Walden.” Advance tickets are $5 and can be purchased from COE Does Art members in the Ferguson Center or around campus. Tickets purchased at the door are $7.

COE Does ART is student-led and was established in 2007 with the intention of disproving the stereotype that engineers are not capable of producing creative works of art.

In the past, the group has performed “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare Abridged,”  “American History Abridged” and “Completely Hollywood Abridged.” Each show is part of a series by the Reduced Shakespeare Company, established in 1981 as a three-man acting routine designed to parody otherwise serious subjects.

“I think it’s fair to say that we want the College of Engineering, and the University as a whole, to understand that engineers can be, and are, funny, creative, outgoing and just as entertaining as anyone out there,” said Jonathon Whitesell, president of the group. “I think that that is why COE does ART exists on campus; because engineers like to have fun, too, and many of us even like to act.”

COE Does ART members include:

Elizabeth Cook, a sophomore in chemical engineering from Houston, Texas.

Philip Cucuru, a freshman in accounting from Gloucester, Mass.

Chloe McMahon, a freshman in mechanical engineering from White Oak, Texas.

Jackson Morris, a sophomore in aerospace engineering from Naperville, Fla.

Jonathan Orbeck a freshman in computer science from Midland, Mich.

Jessie Swift, a freshman in mechanical engineering from San Leon, Texas.

In 1837, The University of Alabama became one of the first five universities in the nation to offer engineering classes. Today, UA’s fully accredited College of Engineering has more than 3,900 students and more than 110 faculty. In the last eight years, students in the College have been named USA Today All-USA College Academic Team members, Goldwater, Hollings, Portz, Mitchell and Truman scholars.


Jonathon Whitesell, COE Does ART president,


Adam Jones, engineering public relations, 205/348-6444,; Judah Martin, engineering student writer, at

The University of Alabama, part of The University of Alabama System, is the state’s flagship university. UA shapes a better world through its teaching, research and service. With a global reputation for excellence, UA provides an inclusive, forward-thinking environment and nearly 200 degree programs on a beautiful, student-centered campus. A leader in cutting-edge research, UA advances discovery, creative inquiry and knowledge through more than 30 research centers. As the state’s largest higher education institution, UA drives economic growth in Alabama and beyond.