Late last Sunday night, eight Columbia students awoke to a group pounding on their doors, waiting to pie them in their faces. These students were not the inductees to one of Columbia's secret societies. On the contrary, they were invited to join a much more public, but no less prestigious group: the cast of the 113th annual Varsity Show, Columbia's oldest performing arts tradition. In this year's core cast, Varsity Show alumnae Becky Abrams, CC '08 and V-Show 112, and Caitlin Shure, CC '07 and V-Show 111, are joined by V-Show virgins Thomas Anawalt, CC '09, Josh Breslow, CC '08, Caitlin Harrity, BC '07, Jordy Lievers, CC '07, Mike Molina, CC '10, and Mark E. Rosenthal, GS. "There's a big spread across the grades this year," said Peter Mende-Siedlecki, CC '07 and one of this year's writers. "We have our first GS student in a long time, which I'm really excited about." This year's creative team decided to reduce the cast to eight members from last year's nine, in part because "it's easier to write for eight people than for nine," said Mende-Siedlecki. "It's also in response to how long the show gets," explained co-producer Geo Karapetyan, CC '07.
In addition to Mende-Siedlecki and Karapetyan, the 113th creative team includes director Mark Junek, CC '07; writers Tom Keenan, CC '07, and Rob Trump, CC '09; composer Henry Pederson, CC '08; choreographer Erin Debold, BC '07; and co-producer Olivia Gorvy, CC '06. This year's Chorus-a group that officially joined Varsity Show tradition in the 110th year-is comprised of Emily Bickford, BC '09, Gilli Messer, BC '10, Eva Peskin, BC '09, Michael Snyder, CC '10, Benjamin Velez, CC '10, and Isabelle Yerkes, CC '09. With the cast and team in place, now all that's left is four months of writing, editing, composing, improvising, blocking, more editing, choreographing, etc. Easy as... well, you know.