Gracies Dinnertime Theatre

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Gracies Dinnertime Theatre
Gracies Dinnertime Theatre 1995 Logo.png
FrequencyWeekly during the Rochester Institute of Technology school year.
PublisherHell's Kitchen
FounderSean T. Hammond, Kelly K. Gunter, Marc Trzepla
Year founded1994
First issueJanuary 1995 (1995-January)
Final issueSpring 2005
CompanyHell's Kitchen
CountryUnited States
Based inRochester, New York

Gracies Dinnertime Theatre (GDT) was a publication written by a group of Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) students that was in production from 1995 to 2005. In its 257 issues, it was notorious for its political incorrectness regarding topics such as race relations, bizarre end-time prophecies, baseless conspiracy theories, provocation of the established student magazine, Reporter, the Clinton and Bush administrations and in particular, RIT President Al Simone.

Perhaps GDT's greatest single contribution was the article "The Politics of High Tech Damnation," which examined the close, covert links between the CIA and RIT in the early and mid 1990s.[1]

Less controversial content included a weekly chess puzzle[2] and frank sexual discussion.[3]

GDT's presence on the internet initially began as a text-only finger plan.[4] By the fall of 1995, GDT had a web site hosted by one of its creators,[5] making it one of the first student satire publications to have a web presence. In time, the hosting of the web site migrated to servers owned by RIT Computer Science House.[6] Its final resting place came to be on the Hell's Kitchen server.

GDT spawned five sister publications which all published under the combined title of Hell's Kitchen. This was distributed for free on four universities in Rochester, NY and Rutgers University. Under this combined title, GDT received notable attention from the Independent Press Association, Rochester's daily newspaper The Democrat and Chronicle,[7] and had a few articles reproduced via UWIRE.[8]



The logo for GDT was created before GDT existed. The shape of the logo was derived from what it looked like when the three founders of the publication stood shoulder-to-shoulder--in order of increasing height--and placed a meter stick on their heads.[9][10]

Rumors Regarding the "Unity" Sculpture[edit]

Masked out sculpture Unity (2008), and the GDT logo (upper right corner), 2000 to 2005. The sculpture has been masked out to comply with rules related to Freedom of panorama in the United States. It is a coincidence that the masking increases the similarities between the Gracies Dinnertime Theatre logo and the Unity sculpture.

A sculpture entitled "Unity" was installed in the quad between the College of Imaging Arts and Sciences, the College of Applied Science and Technology, and the College of Engineering in 2008.[11] Designed as a collaboration between the RIT faculty members Juan Carlos Caballero-Perez and Leonard Urso,[12] the sculpture is visually similar to the logo used by GDT from 2000 to 2005[13] and has led to speculation that it was inspired by GDT.[14][15]

Juan Carlos Caballero-Perez taught at RIT as an adjunct professor in the School of American Crafts within the College of Imaging Arts and Sciences(CIAS) starting in 1994[16]--the year GDT began publishing on the RIT campus. At the time of its founding, two of the original three co-editors were in programs within CIAS, and GDT was involved in protests related to proposed budget cuts to the School of American Crafts and School of Art and Design in April 1996.[17][18] GDT would later go on to publish a piece that examined the close connections between CIAS and the actual CIA.[19][20]

Intentional misspellings in title[edit]

  • "Gracies" would appear to be a possessive pronoun referring to RIT's Grace Watson Dining Hall (colloquially "Gracie's"). Used without the apostrophe, "Gracies" may be read as plural, suggesting a multiverse of parallel dining halls.
  • "Dinnertime Theatre" may recall a formal Dinner theater production, or it may simply denote theatre that occurs coincidental to meal without the willing participation of the diners. Socialization based around the sharing of "food" (not only physical nutrition, but also information) was a recurring theme in GDT production culture.
  • "Theatre" uses the British English spelling; another frequently used affectation in GDT articles.


  1. ^ Zaidi, A. S. (1 April 1998). "The Politics of High Tech Damnation" (PDF). Gracies Dinnertime Theatre. 10 (3): 21. Retrieved 30 January 2018.
  2. ^ Fletcher, Adam (30 September 1998). "White to play and wup some ass" (PDF). Gracies Dinnertime Theatre. 11 (5): 11. Retrieved 1 February 2018.
  3. ^ The Big Red Book: The Best of Gracies Dinnertime Theatre, 1995-2000 (PDF) (1 ed.). Hell's Kitchen. 2000. pp. 174–186. Retrieved 1 February 2018.
  4. ^ "Gracies Dinnertime Theatre" (PDF). 1 (6). 9 April 1995: 2. Retrieved 19 November 2015. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  5. ^ "Gracies Dinnertime Theatre" (PDF). 2 (2). 17 September 1995: 4. Retrieved 19 November 2015. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  6. ^ "Gracies Dinnertime Theatre" (PDF). 4 (1). 17 March 1996: 4. Retrieved 19 November 2015. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  7. ^ Van Dusen, Christine (5 October 1998). "Subscribing to Growth". Democrat & Chronicle. Retrieved 30 January 2018.
  8. ^ Hammond, Sean (15 February 1998). "Editor's Note: Hell's Kitchen and USA Today" (PDF). Gracies Dinnertime Theatre. 9 (8): 5. Retrieved 1 February 2018.
  9. ^ "In-Frequently Asked Questions". Gracies Dinnertime Theatre. Retrieved 2 February 2018.
  10. ^ "What the what? The Unity sculpture and GDT". Retrieved 9 November 2015.
  11. ^ "Unity sculpture on Rochester Institute of Technology campus". Retrieved 9 November 2015.
  12. ^ "Unity - RIT: Art on Campus". Retrieved 9 November 2015.
  13. ^ "What the what? The Unity sculpture and GDT". Retrieved 9 November 2015.
  14. ^ Khodaskar, Gauri (5 December 2015). "RIT Art On Campus: Sculptures III". RIT: Behind the Bricks. Retrieved 30 January 2018.
  15. ^ zonination (24 May 2010). "RIT reddit: TIL that the Unity Sculpture (Between Buildings 9 and 76) is actually a tribute to Gracies Dinnertime Theatre". Retrieved 30 January 2018.
  16. ^ "RIT Libraries Presents: Art on Campus". Retrieved 30 January 2018.
  17. ^ Jackel, Donna (24 April 1996). "Students Rally for Arts". Democrat & Chronicle. Retrieved 30 January 2018.
  18. ^ "RcIaT". Gracies Dinnertime Theatre. 4 (7). 28 April 1996.
  19. ^ Zaidi, A. S. (1 April 1998). "The Politics of High Tech Damnation" (PDF). Gracies Dinnertime Theatre. 10 (3): 21. Retrieved 30 January 2018.
  20. ^ Mandanas, Laura; Villavicencio, Madeleine (1 May 2010). "RIT-CIA Timeline". Reporter Magazine. Retrieved 30 January 2018.

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