Campus was a flurry of activity during this year’s Homecoming festivities, as hundreds of UM alumni, students and friends celebrated being a part of the Montevallo family. The University hosted reunions for Alabama College; the classes of 1950, 1960, 1970, 1980, 1990, 2000, 2010; Young Alumni, Old Golds and Vintage Purples.
The festivities also included several receptions hosted by UM departments and campus organizations, the crowning of Jeffrey Odgers and Sarah Engle as Mr. and Ms. Montevallo, the annual Alumni Art Exhibition and Silent Auction and Purple vs. Gold basketball game.
Center for the Arts Facility Manager and Special Events Coordinator Andrew Fancher received this year’s College Night dedication for his 12 years of dedicated service to helping College Night performances happen.
The highlight of the weekend came on Saturday night when the Purple Side snapped a three-year Gold Side winning streak and were declared College Night victors.
The Purple Side paid homage to College Night past with the multi-line title, “Witchful Thinking: One Hex of a Play” or “Get Witch or Die Trying” or “Brew it for the Money” or “A Witch, a Troll and a Knight Walk into a Bar.” The production told the tale of a fictional kingdom ruled by Queen Daffodilia. In the kingdom, magical citizens live under Daffodilia’s oppressive regime as their quality of life steadily declines in the face of ever-rising taxes.
Clara, the generous co-owner of a potions shop in town and the queen’s step-daughter, is approached by Daffodilia and asked to lead a party to retrieve a sizeable treasure outside the town. The queen promises the treasure will allow her to lessen the tax burden on magical citizens.
Clara, her business partner Troll and Finch, a member of Daffodilia’s Royal Guard, set off to retrieve the treasure and are secretly being followed by the queen and her loyal servant, Courtier. Fearing Clara is planning to use her magical powers to support an already-brewing rebellion against the throne, Daffodilia later attempts to kill Clara but is cut down by the leader of the rebellion. Daffodilia dies after refusing Clara’s offer of healing magic, and Clara becomes the kingdom’s new monarch.
Gold Side’s “The Golden Days” tackled issues of racism, xenophobia and bigotry set to the backdrop of a new school year at a high school in 1970. Tension erupts after star athlete Robbie Richards, who is white, intentionally trips Charlie Chamberlain, who is black, on the first day of school simply because Charlie looks different than Robbie.
After it is revealed Robbie was pursuing another girl over the summer, his girlfriend Dottie Wagner breaks up with him and begins to develop feelings for Charlie. At a popular local diner, Charlie’s crew beats Robbie’s crew in a dance-off, and Dottie then asks Charlie if he will attend the back-to-school dance with her.
In an act of desperation, Robbie visits with Dottie’s parents and tells them that Charlie is black and claims that he is trouble. Dottie’s parents forbid her from dating someone who is different from them, but Dottie, realizing a person’s character matters much more than their outward appearance, attends the dance with Charlie anyway.
Robbie and his friend fight Charlie at the dance and are escorted off the school premises as the other students come to realize they should celebrate their differences and work to overcome bigotry.