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Fall Follies brings comedy on campus for 21st year

In this promotional video, members of the 2015 Fall Follies team finish each other’s sentences to bring a special advertisement for the show to the Belmont Vision.

As each year at Belmont University begins, the students, faculty and buildings change, but one thing has remained a constant for two decades and provided countless laughs – Fall Follies.

Fall Follies is an annual comedy show on Belmont’s campus that began 21 years ago. The writing, acting, producing and directing are all run by a few select Belmont students that have a witty sense of humor.

“I think Fall Follies has been around for so long because students genuinely enjoy laughing at Belmont and at themselves,” said director Josh Knickerbocker. “I believe sharing a laugh with someone is the greatest way to relate to them, and Follies gives them that experience.”

Each year brings different sketches, videos and laughs. Some of the humor is intended for anyone, but many of the jokes specifically poke fun at Belmont.

“It’s always been a fun opportunity for us as students to see the humor in Belmont and in ourselves, and our goal at Follies has always been to create amazing comedy with a positive message for students,” said Knickerbocker.

The students who make up Follies are chosen during the spring semester through an audition process. The students involved are all very different.

“Follies is made up of theatre, music, writing, math, religion and motion pictures majors. It really encompasses so many different areas of Belmont,” said producer Grayson Propst.

Although the show itself is only one weekend, it isn’t created overnight. From the time the players and writers are selected in the spring, months of work go into the show.

“The amount of work that goes into this show is absurd. There are so many levels of responsibility beyond the scheduling, emails and meetings. Luckily, the group dynamic is so strong that it makes the whole process exciting,” said Propst.

Fortunately, their hard work seems to pay off with students who can’t wait to fill the seats of the Massey Performing Arts Center.

“Follies is the most underrated group on campus,” said junior Mare Rote. “They have this incredible gift that gives them the ability to make people forget any situations they are going through and just have fun and laugh for a show, or two, or three if you’re me and go to all of them. They use their talents simply to make other people happier, and to me that is literally the coolest and most selfless thing you can do.”

Even though there are some students anticipating the show, the cast wants to make sure all students know about the show.

“Yeah, there’s a lot going on in this world. A lot of pain. A lot of strife. Here we are, just a speck, a little gray mote hung in a galactic sunbeam, but that’s the great beauty. The show is a chance to appreciate that wholeness and connectedness with a few laughs, a couple of chuckles and a whole lot of memories,” said Follies player Ross Collier.

The cast also wants to make sure all new students come and see the show to keep the tradition and excitement of Follies alive.

“New students, celebrate all of nature dying as winter fast approaches by sitting in a room with friends, strangers and Kellen Schneider’s mother while laughing with or at your peers,” said Follies player Kellen Schneider.

The campus tradition isn’t one to miss and is unlike anything else Belmont offers, said Knickerbocker.

Fall Follies will be Friday at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. in MPAC.

For more content related to Follies, check out the video below as well as its YouTube channel, Facebook event, Twitter and Instagram accounts.

“Albert Einstein once spoke about never judging a fish on how it can climb a tree. Fall Follies is not as smart as Albert Einstein but is definitely a fish that can climb a tree, if you catch my drift,” said Schneider.

Article and video by Tatum Tummins.

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