The Artist Formerly Known As: Pete Holland

How did you come to directing Frosh Revue this year?

Ten kids normally perform in Frosh Revue, and while it’s not set in stone, around five of them choose to direct it their sophomore year, so myself and a few friends – Lili Zimmett ’05, Amy Shelton ’05, Nate Kolar ’05 and Ari Crystal-Ornelas ’05 – are doing it this year.

Do you know how many students auditioned this year?

I’m guessing, but I think around 90.

Ninety kids? Wow, for a spot of 10, that’s intense.

It was an amazing group. They were completely willing to go off the wall and devoted themselves to being crazy, which is exactly what Frosh Revue demands.

Frosh Revue – when did this start?

In the 1940s, I think, and it fluctuated in the number of participants year to year; at one time there were 60 students involved, another year it was a one-man show.

With such a great amount of talent, was there any temptation to accept, say, 20 people?

Well, not 20, but we definitely considered increasing the size. However, there is something nice about the number we have. It’s big enough for a wide array of personalities, which have to work together right off the bat.

While they might initially not understand each other, they grow to form a new humorous relationship. At the same time, ten is small enough to create an intimate bond in which members are willing to collaborate on a big project like this.

How often do members of the Frosh Revue meet?

Sunday to Thursday, three hours a day.

That must take dedication.

It’s the same with any endeavor where you produce something, whether that be a sports team or a group of artists – it becomes a common experience.

We’re spending a great amount of time together in order to make something happen and when you’re spending three hours a night together it’s a given that whether or not you become best friends, you’re going to form amazing relationships with these people.

What is the format of the presentation?

Over Parents Weekend, which runs Oct. 26-28, there will be six hour-long shows.

I don’t know how much I can say because we try to keep most details under wraps so that for the freshman class and parents it’s a big surprise until the last moment. However, it’s in the vein of improv comedy, well, actually more like a sketch comedy, similar to what you’d see on television programs like Saturday Night Live.

What does directing such an endeavor entail?

We rehearse and rehearse and rehearse and all the directors take notes during practices until in the end, out of nowhere, something just kind of gets created.

There’s writing involved, there’s music, dance, comedy – everything really. It will be sort of light-heared and bubble-gummy, you know, because the show is for parents as well as for students. Hopefully, though, it’s going to be a smart, hip presentation as well as a tongue-in-cheek portrayal of life as a freshman.

Will there be an uncensored version for the students?

No, there’s not, although it’d be really fun if there were. However, as smart and clever as we are, we’re still teenagers and twenty-somethings, so much of our humor is based on sex and death – bathroom humor, really – and so the Revue will deal with what’s fun for us. It’ll be borderline risque, a little bit over the top. But we’ll be giving them the censored version [laughs].

In your rehearsals, how do you prepare the players for this kind of on-the-spot comedy?

We have a bunch of, well, perhaps “improv games” is the best description. We have games that were handed to us freshman year with a basic skeletal background structure to them that they get to run with.

Sounds like a lot of fun.

It is. See, I also do cross country, which goes from 4 to 6 p.m. and then rehearsals for the Frosh Revue run from 9 to 12, so my evenings are pretty monopolized.

But those three hours are spent laughing with 14 amazing people – it’s so cathartic and wholesome. No matter how tired I am going in, I walk out of rehearsals totally revitalized. It’s almost like gaining hours in your day.

Is directing something you would wish to pursue after college?

No, actually, I don’t think so. I think I lack that take-charge mentality necessary for a director. I’d like to continue acting, but nothing long-term – only in college.

What do you see yourself doing?

Farming, initially. Teaching, too, but that would be later in life, perhaps when I retire.

In between those, I don’t know, although I would like to stay involved in the arts. The year after I graduated high school I farmed for six months in Minnesota, so that’s where I discovered my love of working outdoors, working the land. I know it’s naive, but it’s something I’d want to do.

Wow, that is so cool. Well, back to the Frosh Revue, do you have one last message for audiences or the Frosh themselves?

Well, first, without a doubt, this will be the best Frosh Revue ever, so please come.

And second – I’m sorry, but a bit of an inside joke to the Frosh Revue kids: Damn! That “Jimbo” Prevas ’06 has one chiseled bod!