|Executive Board:||Director and 2 Producers|
- See also Wikipedia's article about "Varsity Show".
The Varsity Show, founded in 1894 as a fundraiser for the university's fledgling athletic teams, is one of the university's oldest traditions, and certainly its oldest performing arts tradition. Every year, the Varsity Show produces a unique full-length show that skews and satirizes many aspects of life at Columbia. And every year students line up way before the show in order to get good seats.
Ironically, many of the administrators being parodied and lambasted are often sitting in the front rows of the audience. No study has been conducted to determine whether these administrators realize there's a reason they're being ridiculed on stage.
The Varsity Show begins, however, long before the crowds begin to form outside the doors to Roone. In early October, the previous year's creative team interviews and auditions candidates to succeed them, and chooses a creative team of eight or nine students, filling the following roles: producer, director, writer, composer/lyricist, choreographer, and art director. The newly minted creative team runs actor auditions in the middle of November. The Varsity Show is notoriously the most selective casting process in Columbia theater, and the results are always the result of much gossip and debate: Though the numbers vary from year to year, around 150 people audition for the show, singing a one minute song selection, performing a scene with a random partner, and sometimes being asked to do improv comedy. From this group, around 25 people are asked to attend cast callbacks, an invite automatically extended to performers from past Varsity shows. Callbacks are typically held on a Saturday from 8am until 3pm. Those who have been called back perform a monologue, do improv in a character, and learn an original song and dance. From the 30 or so that participate in callbacks, the creative team casts twelve to fifteen. The debates over casting notoriously span hours, and the new cast is welcomed into the Varsity family through a special ritual that's stuff of rumors and legend. If you want to find out what it is, why don't you put on your jester's cap and give auditions a go?
- The Varsity Show coined the term "PrezBo".
- Sometimes called vshow.
- "Roar, Lion, Roar" is based on a Varsity Show melody.
- They have something called "Turkey Day" when the alumni review the nascent show.
- Varsity Show performances
- "Sing A Song of Morningside" - A history of the Varsity Show
- The Varsity Show: A Columbia Tradition, University Archives Online Exhibit