Arm and Trout: The Epitome of Student Expression at Sewanee

Rebecca Cole
Executive Staff

Arm and Trout is a fall semester staple here on the Mountain. Hosted by the Greenhouse every year, the event gives students a platform to express themselves and their creativity and originality in its most genuine form. Arm and Trout’s sister event, Leg and Salmon, hosted in the spring, offers the same platform to students who were not able to make it in the fall or simply want to demonstrate their talents again.

Donald Armentrout was a professor here at the University who donated his house as a permanent residence for the Greenhouse. The event is named after the family to honor the generous and kind donation of the home that for so long was the Greenhouse’s headquarters and home base before the theme house was moved to a new location by Morgan’s Steep. 

The Armentrout family remains involved with the Greenhouse today and Emily Armentrout, the daughter of Donald Armentrout, and her family attended the event. Even with the Armentrout house no longer in use, the Greenhouse residents welcome the family with open arms, as if it were still their home. The deep roots that the family has with the theme house continues to thrive today. 

The Purple met with Angus Pritchard (C’22) and Elijah Greiner (C’22), two residents of the Greenhouse who helped in the organization of Arm and Trout. The house had tables in McClurg Dining Hall as well as posters that they sold to advertise the event, but such a popular event like Arm and Trout barely needs advertising. They both mentioned that because of the nature of the event and its historical popularity, many students that have attended in years past do not need to be pushed to attend. Simply tell the student body when the event is and there will be a great turnout. The main planning of the event comes from auditioning students and choosing MCs for the night. 

The event is similar yet remains quite different from others on campus. It is not a concert, not an open mic night, not a play, and not karaoke. Arm and Trout calls for all talents and all types of performance including everything from music and poetry, to impressions and magic tricks. However, this is still not a type of talent show because some students even preface their performance with the words “I’m not that good,” so what makes it different? Arm and Trout was created as a way for students to share what they love, enjoy, and what they are passionate about. 

The uniqueness of this event is part of what makes it so popular on campus. Pritchard states that “If you have something that you really care about and that is really special to you, then that’s the perfect thing to do at Arm and Trout.” Arm and Trout gives students the unique platform and opportunity to express something that they are passionate about and others recognize and appreciate that passion as well. Greiner characterizes the event as “wholesome and rowdy at the same time,” which is an accurate and endearing representation of Arm and Trout that many students might be inclined to agree with. 

A photo of the crowd at Arm & Trout 2021.

When asking Pritchard and Greiner for any final thoughts, Pritchard stated, “If anyone reading the article has an act that they’re thinking about doing, they should probably do it. It’s the right place to do it. Whatever it is.” Joseph Brown (C’23) walked onto the porch of the Greenhouse to perform and recited the entire peasant scene from Monty Python and the Holy Grail. If there was ever a time, this was it. Nowhere else on campus is that type of performance welcomed and valued and greeted with as many laughs and boisterous applause as at Arm and Trout. 

This crucial platform for student creativity continues to thrive each year, and as a student myself, I hope it continues long into the future as a Sewanee staple.