The Art of the Game: A Homecoming Tradition

The house is packed, and people are covered in their team’s colors. They’ve bought the t-shirts, and some people are heckling the opponents.
The cheerleaders are chanting, and the players are getting ready. Students, friends, family, alumni and random strangers are gathered here. Tickets sold out almost immediately for this oh so thrilling game of     Musical Theatre!

That’s right my friends. Musical Theatre.

Why? Because, this is College Night at the University of Montevallo- the longest running homecoming tradition of any university in America. It is the time of year when the campus divides into two teams the “Purple Side” and  the “Gold Side” to compete in a variety of competitions such as sports and team spirit. But the most important competition of homecoming is a competition of musical theatre. Yes, I said musical theater.

How do you compete at Musical Theatre? Each year around October/November, students from both teams have its members submit student written scripts for an original musical. Each side chooses the best of what is submitted, and the rest of the work begins. To make a  long story short, between November and February, a complete musical theatre play is choreographed, scored, designed, staged, and memorized by select members of each respective team. The process is top secret, for part of the tradition is the revelation of the final product- aka a complete musical theatre show. Neither team knows what the other is doing until the show’s opening night during the week of homecoming. (If this explanation isn’t detailed enough for you, see the following: )

The University of Montevallo can do this because it has diligent creative students who are willing to keep the tradition alive (Also, UM doesn’t have a football team that overshadows the art programs.) At UM, many students are “die-hard” fans of college night- just like people are about Alabama/ Auburn football.

Similarities between sports fans and college night fans:

Sports fans deck themselves out in their team colors.

College night kids proudly sport their purple or gold.

Sports+ College Night: The rivalries go way back. Victories of yesteryear are remembered.

Just like that the fans of most college football teams have a specific stereotype (obnoxious, trashy, classy, quiet, etc.), purple and golds are often classed similarly. (To prevent potential conflict, I’m not going to explain the various stereotypes typically associated with purples or golds.)

Like each team thinks that they are the best, Purples and Golds are convinced that they are best for whatever reason. (Who is right is debatable, thus there are two sides- not one.)

Just like some people dislike sports and have no interest at all in them, some students choose not to play college night. (This neutrality is known as “being green.”)

The alumni are (generally) proud of their alma mater’s team. Alumni love their CN side.

The list goes on and on.

Basically, with a tradition like college night, who needs a football team?

The following video is a perspective of various students form the 2012 Gold Side.

1 Comment

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One response to “The Art of the Game: A Homecoming Tradition

  1. Eric C. Cox

    I agree, just because we don’t have a football team here at UM doesn’t mean the students can’t find some other form of creative outlet for their spirit of competition. Competing on whatever level is definitely a long standing school tradition. It provides cohesivness for the students and falculty as well as anyone who is affiliated with our school. It gives a sense of what to expect in the real world after we are done learning our lessons here and receiving our education. The real world is filled with competitive behavior, not just within professional sports but in all fields of activity and work. To be competitive now in a fun and structured way now helps us to become more successful in life, and at the very least we take that team and school spirit with us onto our next endeavor in life after departing UM. These type of activities help groom us for social as well career success in later times. So hail to this long standing tradition for it is definitely a springboard for much greater and wonderful things waiting for us out in the world.

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