First-year students will showcase their collective talent at the annual Freshman Follies during Family Weekend on Sept. 9 and 10.
Participating students will put together the skits, dances and songs with the theme “Adventure Awaits” in mind.
Tom Craig, director of student organizations and productions, said the main purpose for follies today is to help freshman students get to know more people and form relationships by working together within their halls. Craig said the hall acts work together to come up with an act which allows students to get to know people quicker on a day-to-day basis instead of casual interactions.
“We have hall acts where people who live together develop an act,” said Craig. “Working on something fun with the people in your hall allows you to get to know people more quickly than casual interaction on a day-to-day basis.”
Craig said follies has proven to give students a chance to experience an ACU tradition as well as take part of a major performance.
“This year’s show should prove to be fun and exciting,” said Craig. “We have a broad range of students showcasing various talents, including a freshman band. That’s a new twist for this year, and we’re excited to see what they bring to the stage.”
Follies, a tradition that dates back to 1972, is known to be filled with bright lights, homemade costumes, washable face paint and flimsy backdrops, and many laughs from the audience.
The show was created in 1972 by Dewby Ray, past coordinator for alumni and parent programs. Ray organized a student run performance originally called “Catclaw Crystal Place” and it was established and performed as part of Homecoming Week. In 1990, the name was changed to Freshman Follies was later moved from Homecoming to Family Weekend, which happens each September.
Production manager Courtney Tee, a senior sociology major from Houston, said the main focus of Follies is to allow freshmen to experience a student production and tap into their creative side.
Starting from the beginning of the semester, freshman are only given the theme for the performance and the rest is up to them. Tee explained that though her role as production manager is to oversee the entire production, she allows the students to make it their own.
“The funny thing is, we never know which direction its going to go,” said Tee. “We are just so profound of the creative side of these students and we really want them to get the full experience.”