Theme Nights 2019 Recap


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This year’s Student Government-run “Throwback Theme Nights” was a whirlwind of classic fairytales, blast-from-the-past references, and collaborative yet competitive fun.

From September 4th to 8th, Webbies dressed up in 70s, 80s, 90s, and 00s clothing and checked-in with Student Government representatives to accumulate spirit points for their class. In addition, class officers, commissioners, and execs prepared four scripts that weaved the plots of classic fairytales into their assigned decade.

VWS and WSC students collaborated in many ways: they choreographed unity dances, memorized lines, and most importantly–bonded as a class. On the evening of Saturday, September 8th, students gathered up in the gym to present and view live performances from other classes.

Anne Lofgren (‘19), a senior executive Student Government officer, commented, “This past week was crazy busy. Every class worked extremely hard both to get their dress-up points and plan and act in their performance on Saturday. Charlie, Euphy, and I spent Friday checking in on each class, then setting up the gym with all of Student Government that night. Then, all-day Saturday, Charlie, Euphy and I spent time watching each dress rehearsal of each class, while also running the tech behind the scenes.”

Based on a collective score from dress-up points along with the graded success of their Saturday night performances, the class of 2019 was crowned the coveted title of Theme Nights Champion 2018 during the dance outside of the gym sponsored by Webb parents.

Theme Nights is one of the few events where classes can collaborate to prove which class is the most united. Just like any other competition, this iconic Webb event can reveal a different side of people. Whether that means finding your passion for school spirit and screaming as loud as you can in front of the whole school or yelling at your classmates over miniscule details that will “definitely help you win,” there is always a noticeable change in social dynamics between the grade levels.

Joey Silva (‘21), sophomore WSC vice president, elaborated on his opinion of Theme Nights and the drama behind the scenes from a Student Government perspective. He said, “Honestly, I think Theme Nights causes a lot of unnecessary drama, but I don’t think it’s the faculty’s fault. It’s more of the students getting excited and overwhelmed with the stress of a competition. To get rid of this stress, it would definitely help to go back to the original Theme Nights without classes on Friday… but I doubt that would be possible.”

These heated debates raise the question: Does Theme Nights ultimately bond or divide classes?

Theme Nights’ purpose is to unite a class through a unity dance and cheering, but the competitive chanting can quickly escalate into snide remarks. Drake Gardner (‘18), a judge of this year’s Theme Nights and 2017-18 all-school WSC vice president, commented, “In my opinion, Theme Nights unites classes. I always get to know my classmates better and it’s a great way to start the year after a long summer apart. But I do think that Theme Nights does create some drama throughout the different grades. People get really competitive and gain an overwhelming amount of class spirit, which makes them fight with other grades.”

“Although Theme Nights is a class competition, it is about creating class unity,” said Anne Lofgren (‘19). “Yes, classes may want that W, but the goal has always been for every class to create something together that they are proud of and that represents their class and their talents.”

This year, the victorious senior class fulfilled their three-year legacy of winning Theme Nights. After placing second their freshman year, they emerged triumphant in their sophomore, junior, and now senior years. Koroush Ariane (‘19), a four-year Theme Nights participant, attributes the success of his class to their integration and unity, remarking, “I think our class participation has been key to our three-year Theme Nights winning streak. Our class has been really motivated to win since we placed second our freshman year.”  

Seraphina Oney (‘12), a recent alum and new science department faculty member, remarked, “I think the biggest difference from this year’s Theme Nights performance compared to when I went to school at Webb was the location. Before, we had it at the smaller Mudd Theater–which is where Liu Cheung is now–but I like the gym a lot more because it seemed more like a real production. As a judge, I was extremely impressed to see the work students put in with only two days of practice come to life.”

The purpose of Theme Nights is to facilitate healthy competition and fun between the classes, but some believe this cutthroat nature has channeled into an excess of drama and turmoil. Although the event cannot satisfy all ends of the spectrum, Student Government will continue to search for a suitable balance between class unity and competition while imagining the future of Theme Nights.

Linh Nguyen ('20) and Robbie Reimer ('20)

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