A medical procedure that generally causes you to gag, since it involves poking the back of your throat with a giant Q-tip.

Also, a fantastic a-capella group from Columbus, OH. Check out http://www.throatculture.com

At Johns Hopkins , Throat Culture is a group of students who once a semester mount a hugely popular production of student-written- sketch-comedy satirizing life on campus. Following the controversy in 1998 over which student group actually owned the Throat Culture show, after which relations between the Barnstormers and the Buttered Niblets became strained, (although not strained enough to prevent numerous inter-group hook ups), TC became an independent entity.

Popular recent sketches include Mental Notes - Behind the Music, Win Vadim Shik's Rubles, numerous pop song parodies (Oops, I'm in Orgo Again), What Your TA is Really Saying, Orgo Bounty Hunters and the infamous skit where the Zack Pack puppet sucked itself off during a Student Council meeting.

Their webpage is at http://www.jhu.edu/~throat/

EvilTemptress, I have to disagree. Throat Culture was made an "Umbrella Group" of the Barnstormers in 1999, which means that while the Barnstormers are the ones ultimately responsible in the eyes of Student Activities, TC is operated entirely independently - it has its own board and its own set of by-laws. Basically, TC:Barnstormers::Barnstormers:Performing Arts Council. I still wouldn't say that PAC runs the Barnstormers, it oversees what they do. Perhaps the differences loom large to me as someone who argued strenuously to keep TC a part of the Barnstormers. The way TC is organized today is meant to be a compromise, to keep the (relative) peace between all the groups that wanted to claim it - essentially saying, "Fine, then nobody gets to have it."

TC can't become a real SAC group right now, because around the time all this was going down, the Niblets altered their by-laws, essentially changing their group from being an improv ensemble to a sketch-comedy group, (though without changing their constitution -I have been known to proffer the opinion that the whole group in is now violation of its constitution and needs to put in for some amendments to the SAC) so that if TC tried to go in as the campus sketch-comedy troupe, they'd get absorbed into the Niblets by default. So, instead of being able to grow out of the umbrella model and become its own SAC group, as Witness Theater did, TC is kind of stuck with an added layer of uneeded bureaucracy to deal with, and yet no opportunity for advancement. Which is exactly what I was afraid would happen.

As for the fund-raising thing, uh, aren't all the Barnstormers shows fund-raisers? Isn't that why tickets are sold in the first place, as opposed to offering shows for free? It's basically a goodwill gesture - "see SAC, we do TRY and re-coup expenses." TC may actually be the only show that makes money, because traditionally, they have no budget, but everybody and their TA goes to see it. Go figure.

Actually, though there was discussion of Throat Culture at Johns Hopkins becoming an independent entity, ultimately it remained a Barnstormers show, as it's always been.

Traditionally, Throat Culture has been a fundraiser show for the Barnstormers, as without an official fundraiser the group cannot get any money from the Student Activities Commission. The members of the group simply ignore the fact that it doesn't raise any money.

Throat Culture continues to be a Barnstormer show, and though the group sometimes appears to operate independently, it very much relies on the Barnstormers for funding, rehearsal space, showdates, and miscellaneous support.

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