VARIETIES SHOW TO BE LED BY STUDENTS

CARLY UTHE

cluthe10@ole.augie.edu

 williamsquote

With the Augustana Viking Days date change follows a change in one of the schools most popular events, Viking Varieties.

After both positive and negative buzz surrounding the 2013 Viking Varieties 60th Anniversary show at the Washington Pavilion, students are left to wonder what will happen with next year’s show.

“We have a great working relationship with the Pavilion and have been in talks with them about hosting multiple events for Augustana in the upcoming years, but what was right for last year’s anniversary show venue did not seem right for the long term,” director of alumni relations Mary Toso said.

In past years, Varieties has taken place in at least five different venues including the Orpheum, the Elmen Center and the Sioux Falls Arena. Augustana simply had a “hold” on the Pavilion but nothing was in writing.

Toso also responded to any rumors that the Viking Days date change could have caused the school to lose money.

“The College does not make money on homecoming events, instead we make every effort to create events that are affordable and offer a great experience for alumni and students alike,” Toso said. “Homecoming is about just that-coming home.”

Members from the Varieties planning committee indicated that one negative aspect of the date change is that the college had already begun promoting the Oct. 31-Nov. 2 dates. This setback however, does not affect Varieties because the date for this event has not been set.

So what does the future of Viking Varieties look like? As of right now, that picture has yet to be painted.

“Right now, the plan for the show is this: the 2014 Viking Days Co-Chairs (once selected) will be asked to select co-chairs for Viking Varieties that will also serve on the Central Committee,” director of college events and long-time Viking Varieties coordinator, Emily Sievers said.

After the 2013 Varieties production Sievers, Toso and other committee members received overwhelming responses from current students. Sievers said the major things students commented on were that Varieties belongs back on campus, the number of “student created” acts was insufficient, the show’s rehearsal requirements were too time intensive and the show needs to “return to students.”

Sievers stressed that both she and the other staff members value the students’ opinion. After taking a step back and evaluating the way the show has been produced in the past, the staff reached the decision to put the students in charge.

Students will be in charge of everything from auditioning and choosing the acts to finding a venue. Sievers said she would act as a resource to help those in charge succeed.

“I’ve been a part of Varieties twice, one more-so student run and one not, and I think it’s better as a student-run production,” senior Courtney Williams said. “It’s our homecoming celebration and it’s our opportunity as students to show off our talent and our love for Augie.”

“We want (Varieties) to be everything it can be,” Sievers said.

Both the Music and Theater departments are also set to continue being involved in next year’s production.