An Original Musical By MIT Students

HPT YouTube Release

Hack Punt Tool is now on Youtube, complete with captions! Share with your friends, family, and frosh:

To celebrate the release, we had a played-from-youtube screening on September 11, 2013, (exactly 1 year and 7 months after HPT’s last stage performance). Over 50 people came to 6-120 for the premier!  The audience included the writers, cast members, old friends, and new frosh. Some awesome people even dressed up for the occasion:


Trevor (Billy) in his regular MIT student wear, Aschneid (Tess) in hacking mode, Rosser (Kalf) posing as Story Jack, and little squishible Novembat (made by Rosser).

DVDs of the performance had been made and distributed to the cast and crew, but after a viewing to Tauntaun’s grad school friends in Lisbon, we quickly realized the benefits of adding captions. It took us about 6 months to pull together the captions and get the videos to youtube, but we think the effort was well worth the result.  Hope you enjoy!

From Tauntaun:

Having been away from MIT for almost a year now, it made me immeasurably happy to see so many old friends together in the same room again. And it was amazing to look around the lecture hall when song came on and to hear not only familiar voices but also brand new voices singing along with vigorous energy. Sure, the lyrics are scrolling along the bottom of the screen, but how did everyone know the show so well?

Listening in on conversations going on around the room, it was clear that many people had developed quite an attachment to the characters and the story of Hack Punt Tool. Call me sappy and sentimental, but I definitely got a bit teary-eyed hearing a group of frosh arguing over whether Corot was justified in his actions towards Kepler, or whether Billy and Tess were *technically* breaking the November rule during Platonic Friends Again, or some other detail of the show that they were critiquing or comparing to their own lives in a genuine and whole-hearted fashion. It both amazes me and makes me super happy that something I helped create is taking on a life of it’s own and connecting new people to an old tradition, where the most important lesson is to work hard on projects you love with people you care about. It reminds me that no matter where I go, MIT will always be home.

So thank you to everyone who have put in countless hours to breathe life into this story, and thank you to everyone who have loved the story enough to give it continued vigor. I really hope we can tell another story together sometime 🙂

From dRachel:

I’m currently working as a researcher in the EAPS department, so I’ve been at MIT since HPT ended.  It continues to surprise me when I overhear people who weren’t involved with the production sing the songs or quote something from HPT.  On occasion, I’ve heard people adopt the language and names that we came up with for HPT to describe a thing or problem. When we started writing, I had some idea about how the show could influence the MIT community, but I wasn’t expecting it to pick up nearly as much as it has.

I’m super happy that something I helped make is being enjoyed long after the production was completed…it makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside and have an even greater appreciation for MIT.

Who knows, maybe there will be another play or musical from the HPT team in the future?  I’m keeping my fingers crossed, because I would love to work on another project with a team as amazing as this one was.

Serious thanks to all who were involved with the writing and production, and to the old and new Hack, Punt, Tool fans!

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