One of LCU’s most cherished traditions, Master Follies can be hard to explain to someone who’s never seen it. The Master Follies directors for each of the female social clubs were asked to explain what they do to get their organizations ready for the show. Danie Craig (Kappa Phi Kappa), Shannon Sudduth (Christliche Damen), Abby White (Zeta Gamma), and Kim Silvia (Lambda Omega Alpha) were happy to describe what is behind this event that involves over 300 LCU students.
In the words of Shannon, “Follies is a six minute burst of emotions through song and dance. It’s an explosion of a story on stage. It’s there and then its over.” All of LCU’s social clubs are a part of the show, and have only six minutes to tell an original story. Each show lasts only six minutes, but the preparation for each show has been going on behind the scenes for months.
Most Follies directors begin brainstorming show ideas as soon as they are elected directors in May. When one of Shannon’s co-directors for CD’s suggested the theme for their club, the group of directors unanimously said, “yes.” “We wanted our show to ultimately be fun and simple,” says Shannon. “This will be my fourth Master Follies show, and we haven’t won 1st place or People’s Choice in that time. We wanted this show to be something we would enjoy whether we win or lose.”
The real work begins after Christmas break. Directors try to have the music and choreography laid-out before the first rehearsal of the four weeks allotted to prepare. Flexibility, however, is a must as Zeta director Abby explains, “We tried to create a dance at least two or three nights before we taught it to the club, but sometimes it ended up being created or changed the day we were going to teach them. But hey, that’s Follies!”
Each club has their own set of strengths and weaknesses they must work through during Follies practice. One of the biggest challenges for Shannon is how to choreograph and include 78 CD’s on stage, while Kim in LOA has the opposite problem.
“LOA is the smallest girls club and going up against clubs that have two or three times the number of girls on stage can be intimidating,” says Kim. “However, I tried to make this our strength because we will have more room on stage than anyone else and I plan to utilize it all I can.”
Follies Directors drive the heart of their club’s show to make the whole Master Follies experience come together. However, each director has a different reason to want to take on this time-consuming task. Danie says she wanted to be a Follies director as a way to serve the ladies of Kappa. Kim on the other hand has always been a performer.
“I have performed with several opera companies over the years and becoming a follies director seemed like a way to merge that passion with my passion for LOA,” Kim explains.
No matter the motivation, social club Follies directors work very hard to bring together a themed story, and then get all their members to work together to tell that story during their six minutes on the McDonald Moody stage during Master Follies and Homecoming Weekend.