Viking Varieties showcases student talent


Augustana’s got talent.

Classmates of every grade warm up their voices, bodies and instruments as this year’s Viking Varieties show prepares to open at 7 p.m. on Thursday in the Augustana theatre on the second floor of the Edith Mortenson Center.

But before they get the chance to break out the costumes, dim the lights and raise the curtain, these students were working behind the scenes for weeks to ready their acts for the spotlight.

Sophomore Jenna Hyde is the stage manager for this year’s Olympic-themed Varieties show. For Hyde, getting ready for Varieties has meant sending a lot of emails. Even before auditions started, directors and set directors came together to discuss costuming and set designs.

Next came not one, but two sets of auditions: one for performances and another for dancers, who will be sprinkled throughout the acts. Acts were selected based on how well they fit with this year’s Olympic theme. And while they may not be running a marathon, throwing a discus or playing volleyball on stage, this year’s acts promise to be equally entertaining.

For instance, senior Liz Orris and junior Katelynn Kenny plan on displaying their physical prowess through a martial arts demonstration. After all, “Who doesn’t like a little action?” Orris said. Both Orris and Kenny have practiced the martial art Tae Kwon Do for several years, earning Orris a black belt and Kenny a blue belt.

“It is something you don’t really see every day,” Orris said of their act. “When you have those cool, unique ones it makes the show really interesting and brings out the talent that people have.”

Other acts are already a hit among Augustana students. Tony Yang and the Violet Foxes will cover the song “Some Nights” by Fun. and to try their hand at a more mainstream sound, junior band member Mason Voehl said. In the past year, the band has played at several UBG and Augie Green events. Now the group is looking to stretch itself musically and have a little fun along the way.

“We think students will like our sound due to our collective refusal to take ourselves too seriously,” Voehl said. “We are so grateful to be a part of such a talented group, and we hope our act will be a hit with the student body.”

The talent doesn’t stop there, however. Freshman Molly Sartor will sing “American Honey” by Lady Antebellum, adding Viking Varieties to her growing list of performances. “I told myself that once I went to college, music and singing was still going to be a big part of my life,” Sartor said.

Viking Varieties promises to offer an evening of entertainment, no matter whom is performing. “Everyone put in a lot of time,” Hyde said, but the end result should be worth it. “It’s a variety of people doing stuff that they’re passionate about.”