The Legal Follies Present…

It’s almost February, which can only mean one thing: we’re just a few weeks away from the annual Legal Follies show. This year, I’ve had the privilege of serving as co-director for the group of ten fellow law students who write, produce, direct, and star in a sketch comedy show that pokes fun at the little things in life—and law school life in particular. The Legal Follies Present: Career Fair (Mandatory) promises to be a fun night for everyone in attendance.

I joined the Follies my 1L year on a whim and came to find it was the best decision I made at law school. The group has not only accounted for life-long friendships across nearly a decade’s worth of students and alumni, it has also provided a much-needed excuse to get my mind off work for a while and laugh. I did not know what I was getting myself into when I first walked through the audition room door, but it’s hard to imagine my BU Law experience without the Legal Follies.

Not knowing what I got myself into included a failure to comprehend the amount of work that would go into the development of the show. While technically we begin preparing in the fall with a writer’s retreat and weekly meetings, the creation of the show does not start in earnest until winter break. Every member is responsible for writing and submitting at least three sketches by the end of the break, and upon return, we spend a week reading, workshopping, and editing our ideas into a final list of submissions. Based on scores tallied from member voting, the directors then spend a day building a show.

Picking the sketches that are in the show is only step one—from there, we need to organize them in a logical way, considering things like pacing and the similarity of gags to build the skeleton for the final show. Once that is (mostly) settled, we then go about casting each sketch, which involves trying to match the talents of our actors with the right role. With only ten members on cast this year, that means that all of us are in multiple sketches, often in close succession. We then review the initial casting decisions to ensure that each member has sufficient time to make costume changes and that no single actor is getting too much stage time relative to anyone else. Talk about it with any Follies director, and they’ll tell you the slog that this process can be. This year was no different, taking over 14 straight hours of collaboration to create our (mostly) finished product.

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Rehearsing in Barrister’s

The next day, the cast conducts its first read-through of the show. It’s the first time we get to hear the whole thing out loud, so we listen, do a lot of laughing, and make tweaks here and there to refine the initial product. From there, we’re off to the races. Each evening, the cast devotes three hours of rehearsal time to running through the sketches. Weekends are set aside to film video gags. In just over a week, we are off-book, running through lines by memory and refining our stage directions. In the meantime, the directors are working behind the scenes to secure vendors for lights, sound, filming, cash bar, advertising, and other technical support. Faculty and students get in on the fun as well, taking time to contribute to videos that will be in the show.

It makes for a marathon month. The academic course load does not lighten for the cast members, so time management becomes critical in the month leading up to the show. Our eyes become a little baggier for a time. Even among friends, the repetition of rehearsals can wear on nerves. And yet, being among friends is what makes this all work. Knowing where the laughs may come, listening to critiques, and working off each other’s cues helps turn a rough-hewn script into a presentable show—and one we are rather proud of.

Our final product, alongside the wonderfully talented musicians of Contraband, will be on display in the GSU Auditorium on Thursday, Feb. 15; Friday, Feb. 16, and Saturday, Feb. 17. Doors open at 6:30 pm along with a cash bar, the show starts at 7 pm. Tickets for The Legal Follies Present: Career Fair (Mandatory) are available here:

https://legalfollies2018.eventbrite.com

See you at the show!

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