For the first time ever, OSU Follies is turning its philanthropic focus to the Stillwater community. The Office of Fraternity and Sorority Affairs selected Stillwater High School’s Performing Arts as this year’s recipient for OSU’s long tradition.
In previous years, Follies raised money for Hearts for Hearing, Coaches vs Cancer, the Cowboy Strong Fund and various other causes, but decided to use this year as an opportunity to give back to the community which OSU calls At her place.
“Leaders in our entertainment community have long wanted to find an opportunity to give back to the local community,” said Casey Domnick, Assistant Director of Fraternity and Sorority Affairs. “It aligns perfectly with the university’s land-grant mission to improve lives and communities within the state. We were so excited to have the opportunity to give back to the Stillwater community in this way by partnering with Stillwater Public Schools to support students of all ages in the performing arts.
Funds generated will be shared between the Performing Arts Center’s ongoing projects and the district’s secondary performing arts programs – orchestra, orchestra, choir, theater and technology theater, which collectively serve more than 1,200 students. Potential projects include lighting and set technologies, prop and costume equipment, enhanced sound systems, instruments and uniforms. The programs also hope to be able to bring in visiting artists and clinicians and provide scholarships for students attending summer camps, entering college or needing financial assistance to participate in the arts.
“Growing up in the fine arts, I saw firsthand the value high school music and drama programs can bring,” says Rector. “I’m so excited to have the opportunity to create this partnership and work to impact the future of Stillwater,”
“In 2021, Follies donated a record $57,000,” says Reid Rector, graduate assistant for shows and programming. “This year, we hope our donation to Stillwater Public Schools will exceed even that amount.”
With the Saturday show selling out in 10 minutes and all performances selling out in just a few days, he’s optimistic they could break that record.
In addition to ticket sales, Follies will accept contributions to SPS Performing Arts via donations via Venmo (@OSU-Follies) or via checks payable to FreshmanFollies, 211J Student Union, OSU, Stillwater, OK 74078).
For 51 years, Follies has allowed OSU students to light up the stage by singing, dancing and cheesing. Since the production premiered as Freshman Follies, the show has included freshmen from the fraternity and sorority community, student organizations, and residence halls in the performance.
However, over time, fraternity men and sorority women truly embraced the Follies tradition, and beginning in 2009, the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Affairs took over the role of advising the Follies. shows. Traditionally, Follies takes place on the uniquely shaped stage of the Student Union Little Theatre. This year, the show was renamed simply Follies and expanded to allow any new Greek member to participate, regardless of rank.