Over the past week or so, the Winter Garden has been abuzz with filming and students with scripts in hand. There have also been some pretty witty messages left in the student mail folders in the past few days. Why? It’s all part of the preparation that leads up to Follies. In this week’s post, Renata Johns and Geoff McQueen, our Follies Creative Team co-chairs do a great (and funny) job of explaining what Follies is all about and have left us with a “trailer” to get us that more excited for Thursday, May 3!
It’s mid-April, which means only one thing – the inaugural annual “What is Chicago Booth Follies About” post on The Booth Experience blog. Follies is Booth’s annual variety show where we come together as a community to share some laughs, highlight our class talents, and poke fun at ourselves and life at Booth. This year the evening’s events start out with a special LPF event complete with heavy hors d’oeuvres and a few frosty beverages, lead to the Booth Follies show, and end with a trolley ride to an after party event. (No frosty beverages if you’re on stage though…*cough*Tim*cough*) Last year’s show created some amazing memories for everyone involved (Asian boy band anyone? “Real Harper Heroes” anyone?) and it’s up to us the creative co-chairs of Follies along with our other co-chairs to build on that experience and make it bigger and better each year.
The amazing thing about Follies is all the different ways to get involved. Even with no prior experience on stage, Booth students can audition to sing, dance, or act in front of all of the Booth Community and show off a side that may not come through during class or a Corporate Finance study group meeting. Or, for those who are more of a ‘behind-the-scenes’ type, there’s a production team that works to coordinate lighting, sound, and equipment. For those who feel like they used to be creative, only to have the real world and 80 hour work weeks turn them into Excel automatons in their previous jobs, they can rediscover those creative talents on our writing team and help write a full-length two hour show from scratch.
One of the best parts about Follies is that it isn’t limited to just Booth students. Follies involves professors, staff, and of course, Dean Kumar, whose Tony for last year’s performance must have gotten lost in the mail.
The other unique aspect of Follies is in how it brings the community together not only for the night of the show but for the months leading up to the event! The three first-year co-chairs work directly with the four second-year co-chairs learning how to take the reins for the following year and working side by side on managing the entire process. In addition to that, there are at almost 100 Boothies that touch Follies directly in some way, whether it is directing a skit, recording audio, editing a video, writing a sketch, designing lighting, singing, coordinating rehearsals, or choreographing a dance routine. It takes a large part of the community to make the show happen, and given how busy Boothies can be, it’s no small feat! The reward is in discovering just how talented and gifted the community really is! (And not just with academic stuff!)Regardless of any past theater experience, production skills, or writing talent, Boothies can be a part of Booth Follies, the only show produced by Boothies for Boothies. Even with absolutely zero relevant skills, someone has to write next year’s second annual “What is Chicago Booth Follies About” post!