The Rapidian Home

Secret society inspires newest SiTE:LAB event

SiTE:LAB is occupying the old Harris Furniture Building this Friday night for an innovative performance event inspired by a secret society.

/Austin Bunn

Underwriting support from:

SiTE:LAB Event Friday the 13th

SiTE:LAB is occupying the old Harris Furniture Building for an innovative performance event inspired by one of the building’s former occupants and secret society, the Knights of Pythias.

When: Friday, April 13 from 6:00 –11:00 p.m.

Where: 109 ½ S. Division Avenue

Cost: Admission is free with two cash bars on site.

For more information about the event, visit or

/Austin Bunn

Inspired by a turn of the century secret society, the newest SiTE:LAB event this Friday night will offer visitors three floors of innovative performance art at the old Harris Furniture Building. This building, located at 109 ½ South Division, was once known as Eureka Lodge, No. 2 by members of a secret fraternal organization called the Knights of Pythias.

The Knights of Pythias began around the time of the Civil War as a way to bring professionals together to help unify the country. This male-only organization met in lodges around the U.S., including eight right here in Michigan.

SiTE:LAB curator Paul Amenta teamed up with local playwright and GVSU writing professor Austin Bunn to develop a narrative based on the history of the Harris Furniture building and the secret society it housed. The result features an “immersive, improvised theatrical experience,” according to Bunn.

Bunn wrote the narrative for the evening and developed the characters, but each of the actors will enact their own dialogue based on the audience and the scene they represent. Unlike a traditional performance, visitors can wander around the building at their own pace or follow the actors and watch the stories unfold.

“We are taking ourselves seriously only to make a point,” said Bunn, emphasizing the humorous side to the event. He also added that the performances are not an exact recreation of the Knights of Pythias, but a “riffing on the idea of a secret society.”

Almost 100 local artists, professionals and students from five different colleges play a part in the event. Theatrical lighting designer John Hyatt will light the venue and DJ and composer Jarrett Wallace is providing the music for the night. Comedian and board member of Dog Story Theater, Joe Anderson, as well as singer/songwriter, Hannah Rose Graves, play prominent roles in the performance.

This SiTE:LAB event runs from 6–11 p.m. Admission is free with two cash bars on site. The event was made possible through donations by the Arts Council of Greater Grand Rapids and the Downtown Alliance and it is a part of Art.Downtown.

The Rapidian, a program of the 501(c)3 nonprofit Community Media Center, relies on the community’s support to help cover the cost of training reporters and publishing content.

We need your help.

If each of our readers and content creators who values this community platform help support its creation and maintenance, The Rapidian can continue to educate and facilitate a conversation around issues for years to come.

Please support The Rapidian and make a contribution today.

Comments, like all content, are held to The Rapidian standards of civility and open identity as outlined in our Terms of Use and Values Statement. We reserve the right to remove any content that does not hold to these standards.