My neighbor, Betsy, recently sent out a neighborhood bulletin asking for “occupational clothing.” Betsy’s teaching a course called “Social Change in Action” at Boston College and the clothing was part of the students’ field work.

Lab Coats Double in Musical Theater and Guerrilla Theater

Lab Coats Double in Musical Theater and Guerrilla Theater

I just happened to have 20 lab coats left over from the filming of my DVD “Invention & Alchemy” so Betsy took them for their next theatrical mission – this time Guerrilla theater.

This week, Betsy sent me photos of the lab coats with this note proving, once again, that dressing for success may look different … or oddly similar … in different circumstances:

“Dear Deborah, the lab coats were successful!

The group of 17 Boston College students in a Social Change in Action course, calling themselves Student Allies for Vocational Experience (SAVE), set a goal of reversing last year’s $4 million state budget cut in two career internship programs for low-income high school students. They marched on the State House, where they did street theater, wearing borrowed occupational costumes including the infamous “Invention & Alchemy” lab coats, lobbied every senator and delivered petition signatures. The Senate Ways and Means actually put in a small increase ($100K) in its proposed budget for one of the programs, even though they cut or level-funded most programs due to the budget crisis. Not a big increase, but the House budget proposal cuts the programs even more, and that’s what we expected from the Senate too, so even level-funding is a victory.

And I do think their sincere pleading may have won the $100,000 increase. I promised them extra credit for the course if they won any increase, so everyone’s grade was bumped up one notch when the Senate W&M budget came out on Wednesday.   I’ll return the lab coats next week. Thanks! — Betsy.”

I wonder what the lab coats’ next mission will be.

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