Frosh Revue skits humorously parody first-year life

Last weekend's Frosh Revue show offered a lighthearted take on the experiences and challenges of one's first year at the College. Photo courtesy of Charlie Volow.
Last weekend’s Frosh Revue show offered a lighthearted take on the experiences and challenges of one’s first year at the College. Photo courtesy of Charlie Volow.

Ever since my first days on campus, I’ve seen signs for Frosh Revue. The posters yelled at me that the show would make me laugh, tell me about my first year of college and probably change my life – a pretty big promise. While I don’t think seeing Frosh Revue changed my life, it was definitely a fun way to spend an hour this past weekend.

The annual show, this year titled Frosh Revue: So You Think You Can Frosh, was performed three times over Family Days weekend, on Friday and Saturday nights and on Saturday afternoon. The performance switched smoothly between songs and skits. The songs weren’t exactly sung but were more words spoken and shouted to the tune of the music; nonetheless, they proved very entertaining. The show opened with a song describing the frantic beginnings of First Days, then delved into explorations of all of the activities done by the different Ephventures. This got laughs from the thoughts of not showering or using deodorant during Williams Outdoor Orientation for Living as First-Years and the lack of sleep during Team Eph. The 10 first-years in the production utilized the whole stage, dancing and kicking their way around the space.

The following scenes poked fun at campus events that have happened in the short time we first-years have been here. In one scene, “President Falk” discussed with three associates what to do for the campaign launch. A physics professor ran in frantically and stated his doubts about the ability of the new grass to hold the weight of thousands of people without sinking. Former College President Mark Hopkins, back from the dead, interrupted and suggested putting down wood and then turf on top, which everyone agreed was a great idea. This elicited laughs mostly from the students, as the parents in the audience (if they had even heard from their children about the campaign launch) hadn’t known about the turf-on-grass situation on the new Library Quad. This skit reappeared a few times throughout the show, with President Falk wondering what to do with the giant stage and no performer, and someone brilliantly suggesting a bagpiper. At this point, someone walked on stage playing a miniature bagpipe, causing the audience to crack up.

Another well-received skit was based on the Frosh Quad-Mission divide, played out in a love story. Can Romepho and Julephet be together if one lives in Frosh Quad and one is from Mission? The two star-crossed lovers had to convince their entrymates that it was really okay to talk to the “other” and finally, with the support of their Junior Advisors, they chest-bumped to cheering and laughter. Part of this skit also took place at the first First Fridays, which included awkward dancing and the constant search for friends and ultimately ended up at snack bar, an occurrence that undoubtedly resonated with the audience. This led to the great question that everyone asks: Since green beans are a vegetable, that means fried green beans are healthy, right? This remark got laughs from everyone, including the parents.

Of course, you can’t make fun of first-year fall without talking about the stress. With a shout-out to the students in “Multivariable Calculus,” who had their midterm before Reading Period, everyone else in the skit was stuck in the library studying. As they said in the show: Stressbusters to the rescue! After consuming tons of Purple Cow ice cream, described as a normal flavor with an extra thing and a weird name, and apple cider – because you don’t already get enough at the College – the students in the show were very happy and just a little less stressed.

Another fun, slightly weird scene came with the first adventure to Water Street Books. After the professor gave out the syllabus, two first-years started their journey. On the way, they encountered a procrastinating senior who kept trying to steal the syllabus, and at one point when it had been stolen, a nice librarian came and helped the first-years find which books they needed. While the first-years worried about making the journey back, the professor magically showed up to help them get home. The first-years expressed their worry that the only way to get around Williamstown was by a horse and buggy, to much laughter. The professor explained that they would simply call Campus Safety and Security (CSS) and emphasized that they are here for our safety and would help the first-years get back home. This line about CSS being there for safety was repeated many times, a fact picked up by parents especially and an obvious play on the number of times it is repeated to first-years.

With many more songs and skits venturing from the first day of class to the housing lottery that will happen in the spring, Frosh Revue comically and intricately replayed the highs and lows of the first year of college. Thanks to great directing by Dan Brandes ’18, Erin Hanson ’18, Evelyn Mahon ’18 and Jack Scaletta ’18, and performances by first-years Luke Baumann ’19, Isabel Benjamin ’19, Dani D’Oliveira ’19, Jeff Erazo ’19, Keshav Goel ’19, Lizzy Hibbard ’19, YJ Huang ’19, Christine Nyce ’19, Julia Randall ’19 and Michael Rubel ’19, many first-years and their families were treated to an hour of fun, comedy and a little insight into the life of a first-year at the College.

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