The Purple Side sign was created by Mary Grace Tracy and Ben Kaiser designed the Gold Side sign. Photo by Jasmyne Ray for The Alabamian.
On the evening of Jan. 28, 2016, purple and gold students gathered outside Farmer Hall to take part in the annual tradition of unveiling the College Night signs. These artistic structures advertise and hint towards the themes of this year’s side shows.
The event began with overlapping side cheers and chants, pumping the crowd full of energy and anticipation.
Not to be forgotten, though, are the artists who worked tirelessly in order to present the student body with the creative clues contained within the signs.
Benjamin Kaiser, senior and Gold Side’s sign creator, admitted to giving up a portion of his Christmas break in order to work on the sign. “It takes a lot of hard work and dedication,” Kaiser said. “Really it’s just a lot of building and painting when you need to be doing everything else in life. Every year I get one point under perfect, so this year I was like it’s go big or go home, and if I don’t get a perfect score this time, that’s it. I’ve tried my best.”
As both Purple Side’s sign creator and cast member, Mary Grace Tracy discussed pooling hers and director James Power’s visions into a single concept. The two wanted to bring as many elements of the show into the sign as possible without giving away the theme entirely.
“My original idea gave away too much for the show and Shelby Mays, who’s building the set this year, gave me a better idea that was more of a hint rather than just giving it away,” Tracy said. “[Not giving away the entire concept of the show] is difficult. I want to throw all of it into the sign and make it awesome, but I do have to a hold back a little.”
Of course with the reveal of the signs comes the guesses of what stories the shows will tell this College Night season.
Purple Side member and communication studies major Ryan Ahrendt shared his theories of what his side’s show will entail. “I want to say the show will fall into an adventurous genre,” Ahrendt said. “I kind of got a ‘Peter Pan’ vibe, I think from the compass and maybe even a little bit of a ‘Moby Dick’ feeling even though it was an octopus instead of a whale. But I’m definitely expecting big adventure.”
Freshman and Gold Side member Savannah Willard shared her ideas about Gold Side’s production. She guessed the show could potentially include murder mystery elements and likely deals with a casino.
These secret plots will be revealed on Wednesday, Feb. 10 in Palmer Hall during the first public College Night shows of 2016. Meanwhile, the next event members can get pumped for will occur on Saturday, Feb. 6 during the College Night ultimate frisbee game.