The first Variety Show in three years, put on by the Union University Student Activities Council, took place on Saturday, April 23rd, at 7 pm in the Carl Grants Civic Event Center.
Variety Show is a chance for small and large groups alike to come together to perform for the Union community. The different groups put on acts that tell a story through music tracks and singing, dancing and other creative talents and skills. This year, all five of the groups created an introduction video that revealed their theme, and then began the dancing performance on stage with a full set and costumes. The Blank Slate Improv team hosted the show, helping fill time in between performances with short, witty skits.
“The Student Activities Council is all about fostering a fun and welcoming community and Variety Show is our biggest event where we get to fulfill this role,” SAC president Abbie Hobson, a junior history major, said. “We were all a little anxious due to the fact we haven’t had one in three years and there were so many unknowns. However, everyone in SAC was more than willing to help in any way they could and I am so incredibly thankful for everyone’s hard work!”
Student Activities Council had a big challenge ahead of them to plan and coordinate one of Union’s largest events after three years of not having it: only the seniors of this year had experienced it before.
“It’s definitely a surreal experience seeing V-Show come back,” said Grant Gammon, a senior political science and business management double major, member of SAC and winner of this year’s “Most Valuable Participant” for his dedication and work in preparation for V -Show. “I am one of the two seniors on SAC that have seen a V-Show beforehand. It’s difficult to prepare the new SAC members for V-Show if they’ve not seen it before, so I’m grateful that it came back this year for the tradition to continue.”
Sydney Dayton, a senior pre-counseling family studies major and V-Show Director for Chi Omega, said that there were many challenges that came with helping prepare a V-Show with people who had never seen or done it before. However, she said that the work was fun, exciting and rewarding.
“I get to see something that I’ve envisioned come to life, in a way that I totally didn’t expect it to,” Dayton said.
Josiah Ducharme, a major freshman philosophy, said that underclassmen were looking forward to the show because of the way that the seniors discussed it. However, they were not exactly sure what to expect.
“I think what I see among freshmen, is a mixture of excitement and uncertainty… excitement because the upper-class students frequently talk about V show and how excited they are to both watch and perform,” said Ducharme, days before the show.
However, no amount of talk could have prepared everyone for what was to come on Saturday.
The night began with a thrilling performance called “It’s Not A Game Anymore,” from Alpha Tau Omega. The act showcased a story where five distinguished guests are invited to a dinner with a wealthy host when the host mysteriously drops dead in the middle of the evening. The dancing and singing follow the mystery surrounding the death and the question of “Who did it?” The ATO director Braden Henson won Best Director, and ATO won Best Moment of the Show and Best Small Group Performance.
Next, Zeta Tau Alpha performed a “Quest for the Crown.” Their video showed students breaking into the Zeta house and stealing the crown jewels, and on stage the Zeta’s danced their way through Nashville, Las Vegas and California on a road trip to retrieve the jewels.
After a 15-minute intermission led by Blank Slate playing improv games, Chi Omega’s video began. Girls from the ’50s, ’70s, ’80s and ’90’s all petitioned for their dance decade to be chosen for the V-Show theme. The women of Chi Omega took the stage, different groups dancing and representing each of their decades, finally deciding for the theme to be “Dancing Through the Decades.” Chi Omega won the award for Best Costumes, Best Technical Ability, Best Choreography and Best Large Group Performance.
Kappa Delta came up next, the video showing three of the women taking a trip to a candy shop and finding a mysterious figure, making their way to a chocolate factory. Their stage performance showed the women fighting off their villain counterparts to finally be reunited with their sisters at the end.
Lastly, Student Activities Council’s dance represented every one of the big events SAC puts on each year, as they tried to convince two new freshmen to join SAC.
The long nights of planning, choreography, set design, dancing and hours of practice all came to life on the stage. It was evident that each group poured their heart and soul into their performance and that they left the event center Saturday night stronger and closer than they were before.
Jaxon Via, a junior cell and molecular biology major and a member of Alpha Tau Omega, loved seeing the bond that was created in his group throughout their V-Show practices and performance. He said, “Performing on stage was definitely a new experience for me, but I would do it 100 times over. I think the best part was seeing the culmination of all of our hard work. It was a great bonding experience for all of us, and I’m excited to see how we top this year, next year!”
After Saturday evening’s incredible performances, the “hype” surrounding V-Show has officially returned for students, faculty, parents and the Jackson community. It seems as if it is here to stay, as discussions regarding ideas and plans for next year have already begun amongst different groups on campus.
Photo Credit: Union University Communications