Follies like it’s 1999


Bethany Bergschneider, Editor

According to Merriam-Webster, a folly is a “foolish act or idea.” That definition just might perfectly explain the Franklin Follies, which are put on each year by the CUSD #1 teachers, staff, and administration. The essential purpose of the Follies is to have fun. It’s a sort of homemade play and comedy show mash-up full of shenanigans, inside jokes, and much, much more.

This year’s theme is “The Video Killed the Radio Star.” “Back in the 80s, MTV took over and showed videos and that became the trend… so we’re going to do our version of these songs and make our own video but live. Mrs. Stocker came up with lip-sync, then in a group discussion we took it a little bit further,” says Mr. Tabeek.

After creating a theme, there’s still work to be done, “more than what people probably think”—as Mr. Tabeek puts it.  For this year’s performance, the preparation started all the way back in October or November.

“We asked the committee members to come up with songs that might work. Along with the songs, we had to think of how we’ll make it into our thing, whether we’ll steal the video completely and do what they did, or turn it into a Franklin thing. Then we sat down and chopped away at some of those… eventually, we start casting people into the different skits and I go ahead and put it in order to see what will work. We have two rehearsals, then the show.”

Even with all the preparation, like in any show, there are times when it just doesn’t quite go as planned. “I think my favorite moments are when people screw up, then figure out a way to get out of it, which I’ve done many times.”

Over the years, the Follies have included many—shall we say—interesting moments.  Ms. Wisehart’s favorite Follies memory is actually one from her first year participating. “That was the year that Mr. Tabeek put on the short red shorts and life will never be the same. It was a lot. It exposed me to a lot of things about Franklin, and it was definitely memorable.”

Beyond the laughter and strange inside jokes, the Follies are a meaningful event for our school and community. The proceeds benefit the Katy Tannahill Memorial Scholarship, which is awarded to three or four seniors each year. “This is the 17th year, but 16th show [and] we’ve raised or given out scholarships for over $30,000. Probably 40 or 50 kids have received scholarships.”

“I think that it really shows how far the teachers are willing to go to help the students. I think it’s always good to have humor in the school and being able to laugh at oneself is a very good thing. It creates a great sense of community, and it’s one of the things that makes me very proud to work here,” says Ms. Wisehart. Mr. Tabeek agrees. “I think you see faculty members and administration in a different way.”

According to the teachers who are involved, this year’s Follies will certainly be one to see. Ms. Wisehart is most excited about getting to see Queen Bey. “Everybody should come, because Beyonce’s coming to Franklin, and she has some awesome backup dancers.”




Works Cited

“Definition page on ‘folly'”.  Merriam-Webster. Accessed 5 April 2019.