By Kelsi Peace, Managing Editor
This year, Freshman Follies exposed new freshmen to ACU and initiated newly appointed director of student productions Tom Craig to the world of show biz.
“I had no expectations,” Craig said. “I went into the weekend with no expectations, but everything turned out great.”
Between the four shows, Follies gathered an audience of about 1,700, Craig estimated, drawing a crowd that contributed to the show’s energy.
Craig said numbers were evenly distributed at all the shows.
Without a cast, a production doesn’t have a lot to offer.
“We had a wonderful group of freshmen this year,” Craig said. “It’s a class that ACU will be proud of.”
The group performed at least three original pieces, and this year’s co-chairs, Brent Bailey, Biblical text major from Kingwood; Wes Flach, Christian ministry major from Dallas; Rebecca Hopkins, communication disorders major from Edmond and Allie Souder, biology major from Arlington, provided an unprecedented role in the production, Craig said.
The group divided the responsibilities into four parts, and with Souder covering Large Chorus and theme development, Hopkins watching hall acts and dance troop numbers, Flach organizing stage details and Bailey planning ticket sales and the finale, the production’s freshman leaders stepped up.
“It’s a little bit of a challenge when you come in as a freshman to put together [a show] in the first six weeks of the semester,” Craig said.
For Mabee 2nd and 3rd North hall act director Adam Tate, bio-chemistry major from Abilene, the challenge was hardly daunting.
Tate said he decided to head up the act when no one else stepped up. Tate took over, planning costumes – orange hoodies – selecting songs – Walk it Out, Soulja Boy and Bye, Bye, Bye – and choreographing dance moves. And 2N3 was born.
“Everyone really invested themselves in it,” said Braden Baker, business and finance major from Dallas and a member of the act.
One week before the show, the men decided to throw members of their group across the stage, and their YouTube video is proof of the act’s success.
“It was a blast,” Tate said. “It helped a lot of us on the hall bond.”
Tate and Baker agreed the process brought many out of their shell, echoing a sentiment many claim as their favorite part of Follies.
Tiffany Vitone, speech pathology major from Austin, agreed.
“I liked being able to socialize with everyone and getting to know people I wouldn’t have otherwise,” she said.
Vitone participated in the Nelson 3rd Act, which featured “Gilligan’s Island,” “Green Acres” and “Saved by the Bell.”
“That’s what excites me about this process – you see relationships start forming,” Craig said. “And that’s what makes this special.”