Every year, hundreds of students stand in front of a camera to gush over members of the graduating senior class. As the video is filmed on Founder’s Day, it is not surprising that students are incredibly effusive toward their fellow students. Nonetheless, these accolades are completely warranted—the film is a part of the Phil’s annual celebration of its season, the Phillies.
Officially, the Phillies is the Philaletheis Society’s annual award ceremony to commemorate all of the work the organization has done within its past season.
This year, the ceremony will take on a different form. “In the past, the Phillies have centered around the ‘award show’ component of the event, but recently, we have focused on the Phillies as a celebration of all of the shows and performers, emphasizing the social element of the event,” said Madie Oldfield ’15, Student Activity Liaison of Phil. “The Phillies is a party. This is a great time for students involved in student theatre to celebrate one another and reflect on the exciting shows that have happened this year.”
Founded in 1865, the Philaletheis Society prides itself on being the first official organization on campus and has garnered a huge membership, which includes students interesting in acting, directing and technical theater.
In addition to putting on fully produced shows this season, Phil has held many writing workshops where plays that are still in developmental stages are open to audiences.
Beyond writing workshops, Phil has hosted many events that can benefit its members. “We started a Playwriting Workshop that is giving playwrights the chance to show new work, and Phil has also produced some dance theatre pieces and improvised pieces this semester, which is really thrilling to see,” said Oldfield.
This year’s ceremony will take on a different form than years past. The 2014 Phillies Awards will deemphasize the competitive aspect of the ceremony and instead opt for a more familial and casual vibe. That being said, “Phillies” will still be distributed.
The Phillie’s voting process is open to all members of the Philaletheis Society. First, the organization’s board comes up with categories. Then, the Philaletheis’ General Body, which is comprised of anyone involved in the org or is, at the very least, on their email list, can vote online. “The awards are an exciting component of the Phillies, but many of the questions are silly and lighthearted—we don’t take the awards too seriously. It’s always fun to win a Phillie, but the goal is to be with friends and have fun celebrating the year in theatre,” said Oldfield.
The competitive aspect of the Phillies is minimal. “We do have best actor and best actress, but that’s kind of irrelevant. In years past, we have done best show, but we don’t try to make it a competition between shows,” said Thomas Lawler ’16, Secretary of Phil. “Instead, we like to recognize all of the work that has been done. The Phil General Body does vote and there are awards and we do like to make it exciting for those who win, but we make sure it’s fun for everyone who comes.”
This award ceremony does not take itself too seriously on a competitive level, which makes it a fun, exciting and cheerful event for all involved with Phil. “It’s not competitive at all and, again, just a very casual event,” Lawler reiterated. “We do have a theme—our theme is ‘space rodeo.’ We do encourage people to get dressed up and get creative. N*Sync’s ‘Space Cowboy’ will be played as will ‘Space Jam’s’ soundtrack, so come ready to dance and come ready to compete in a costume contest—Best Costume award is actually very competitive.”
While each year, the Phillies has a different theme—in years past the theme has been “Pool Party” and “Werewolf Bar Mitzvah”—one aspect of the show does stay constant from year to year: the Phillies Senior Video.
“One of the things that is really great about it is that there is something called the Phillies Senior Video,” said Sarah Freedman ’16, Special Events Coordinator of Phil. “People come by and are given a list of seniors, and they talk about all of the seniors on the list—how great they are and how much they are going to miss them. It’s a really great time and means a lot to all of the seniors involved.”
This video, created to commemorate the graduating class, is recorded during the middle of Founder’s Day and is then played during the Phillies. “The senior video is a tradition we have of filming people’s inebriated responses on Founder’s Day to their favorite seniors. We edit it together and show it at the end of the ceremony,” said Ryder O’Dell ’14, Vice-President of Phil. “It is a charming send-off and capstone for people who have worked on Phil shows at any time during their four years here.”
The organization is expecting a high turn out rate for this year’s gala. “This season, we’ve had quite a number of large shows with a very large cast, so we are kind of hoping that we can get a great turn out at the Phillies,” Lawler said. “We’ve had big casts and big production teams, so it would be great if we got a large portion of the Phil general body to come out so we can have a big send off.”
The gala—which will include the barbecue and ceremony, will take place on the last day of study week, from 5 to 10 p.m. on Wednesday, May 7 in the Shiva Theater.
The attendees of the Phillies gala always expect a fantastic event—whether they win an award or not. “The Phillies are a fairly long standing tradition here that I have always attended and loved. They are not about winning an award, but about celebrating the season as a whole,” said O’Dell.