By Mallory Sherwood, Managing Editor
Cullen Auditorium will be filled on Sept. 30 as members of the freshman class step onto the stage for the first showing of Freshman Follies: The Mission, a production comprised of acts written and performed by the freshmen residence hall groups, soloists, small groups and a large chorus.
Follies, a tradition since 1972, brings family, students and members from the community to watch as the freshmen make their debut act on campus.
Jessica Grice, freshman psychology major from Detroit and performing soloist, said this class has a lot of talent.
“Come because we’re good, because it’s fun and because you should support everything,” Grice said. “What else are you going to do in Abilene?”
This year’s theme, “The Mission,” focuses on both the university’s centennial year and a spin-off of Dan Brown’s best-selling novel, The DaVinci Code, with a treasure hunt unfolding in front of the audience’s eyes in an original film produced by seven students.
The film will tie in each hall act as well as each song chosen for the soloists.
Kate Whitworth, freshman print journalism major from Houston, said Follies is a time to take a risk and make an impression.
“As freshmen, we’re all trying so hard not to stick out and this is an opportunity for us to put everything out there and make a first impression on campus,” Whitworth said.
Whitworth, a soloist singing an acoustic version of Dido’s “White Flag,” is also participating in the McDonald Hall act.
She said hall acts are less prepared than the soloists because of the number of girls and their priorities.
More than 70 women are expected to perform in McDonald’s performance, but only 18 showed up to the practice on Tuesday, Whitworth said.
“The girls have other priorities and a lot of excuses,” she said. “People who could contribute so much aren’t willing to make a commitment.”
However, she said the residents will realize how close the performance is and start practicing soon.
Other halls are more prepared, said Leah Payne, freshman marketing major from Belton.
Payne is director of Nelson 1st floor’s act, based during the ’60s, and a soloist. She said the floor is rewriting the lyrics to “I wanna hold your hand” by the Beatles; “Where did our love go” by Diana Ross and the Supremes; and “Brown-eyed girl” by Van Morrison.
She said she is looking forward to performing with her hall and wearing tie-dye shirts, long skirts, bare feet and large sunglasses.
“I love to watch things like this,” Payne said. “It is a smaller version of Sing Song that everyone can enjoy.”
With each decade depicted, audience members can relate to what students perform, making the show unique.
Massey said people don’t realize that Follies is not just another show.
“Everything moves so much faster than Sing Song, and there is no down time,” Massey said. “People are going to wonder where the time went, and if they missed it, they’re going to wish they hadn’t.”