Follies: This Year and Back

-Megan Cole, Reporter

Follies is a Homecoming week tradition that marks the nearing end of the pledge process for Mississippi College’s clubs and tribes. Tribes and clubs have been performing these skits for quite a while, and this year’s 2014 Follies is the 30th production in MC history.

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“Something Old, Something New, Something Gold, Something Blue” was this year’s theme for Homecoming, which wrapped up on Saturday, Oct. 18. What better way to remember ‘something old’ than a Follies throwback?

The annual Follies tradition began in 1985 when the university’s current president decided that MC needed an entertaining competition like other well-known schools held annually. Follies was born small, but over the last 30 years it has grown so that massive lines of students, faculty, alumni, and community members eagerly wait to rush into Swor Auditorium to watch the performance.

The Follies event has changed a lot throughout the years, but some things still remain the same. For example, the event has always taken place at Swor Auditorium around 7 p.m. and has always been focused on displaying the creativity of each club and tribe on MC’s campus.

The major things that have changed are the intensity of the performance and the required preparation time. Today’s skits require pledges to commit to weeks of daily practice, given that the skits are very intense, detailed, and lengthier than they were in the past. Back in the 80’s, when Follies began, the skits were only five-minute routines of singing and dancing.

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In 1989, Follies was also more theme-based, in accordance with the celebration of the Homecoming week theme itself. According to the Collegian’s Vol. 72 No.3, the Homecoming “theme” of that year was, “The Carnival of Magic”.

Unlike more recent MC homecomings, their week’s festivities were packed with less emphasis on Follies and more focus on other activities. They kicked off with a carnival and barbecue on the quad. The carnival included a magician, musical ice bucket games, cakewalks, and even an entertaining clown to walk amongst the crowds that filled the quad. This wild night was followed by other MC traditions still participated by students today. Yet, at this time Follies had not gained the anticipation found at MC today.

The1996’s Follies included a feast in Jennings after the performances, something many current students probably wouldn’t mind be brought back. In a past Collegian issue, one alumni had shared his thoughts and opinions on the event.

“I thought Follies were real good. The tribes and clubs got a chance to express themselves in front of parents and students. They had the opportunity to work together and display team work through their skits.” This description could still describe the high-energy, unique skits the tribes and clubs put on each year.

In the year 2000, Follies admission was $2 dollars a ticket, in comparison with this year’s Follies’ non-student tickets which ran at $15.

Something new? 2014 Follies. This year, for the first time, Follies skits were performed twice – one free preview performance for students and faculty on Oct. 16, followed by a performance for parents and other guests on Oct. 17.

Following the student preview, MC’s student body was given the opportunity to text in their votes for the People’s Choice awards. Students voted Civitan’s Lion King themed skit as Best Overall performance, and Civitan was also chosen as Best Men’s Club performance. The People’s Choice for Best Tribe performance went to Laguna’s Toy Story 3 skit.

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Thursday night’s panel of alumni judges also selected winners according to three different categories—storyline, singing, and choreography. Civitan received best storyline, Kokoa’s “Kokoa Meets World” skit tied with Kissimee’s “Grease” for best singing, and Civitan and Kissimee tied for best choreography.

On Friday, Oct. 17, the official Follies performance night, Civitan came out victorious again in first place. However, Swannanoa took second, and Kissimmee took third—a significant change from recent years.

Though slight changes have been made to Follies throughout the years, it remains a highly anticipated Homecoming event that will continue to grow and impress audiences with the creativity and talent of MC students.

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