Teachers have discovered the perfect antidote for the winter blahs: the Faculty Follies II benefit show!
Musicians, rappers, steppers, dancers, actors, and, yes, five faceless pillow people performed for a sell-out crowd in the Ceres M. Horn Theatre on January 19.
Introduced by gifted master of ceremonies Kevin Costa, some of the acts included:
- A faculty version of the upper school's Valentine's Day highlight, singing telegrams, with history teacher Dave Harley as the object of colleagues' serenade.
- Salt 'n Salt, an energetic, original rap by history teacher Bridget Collins and math teacher Katie Pearl
- The Pillow People, an indescribable dance by a troupe of radioactive pillows
- The Faculty Step Squad, an impressive, well-rehearsed group of step dancers coached by Jess '12 and Autumne '12.
- Thriller, a rendition of the dance made famous by Michael Jackson
- Snap, Crackle, and Pop, a comedic musical skit by middle school English teachers Jon Aaron and Craig Copeland, along with prefirst assistant Kara Zimmerman
- Folk and rock music performances by middle school social studies teacher Steve Martel, history teacher John Wood, computer science teacher Donn Lewis, and jazz band director Don New.
The house really rocked during the final act, the School of Rock Band. The extraordinary combo featured riding teacher Holly Gizzi, Katie Pearl, LS math teacher Regina Karwacki, psychologist Marie Allee, Kevin Costa, Steve Martel, and Liam Pearl.
Proceeds from Follies totaled more than $2,500, which will be donated to KIPP Baltimore Schools, public schools with a mission similar to McDonogh's. KIPP schools aim to provide a challenging, college prep education to excellent Baltimore City students.
Organized by wellness teacher Michelle Kriebel, Faculty Follies II featured more than 30 teachers, staff, and administrators from the three divisions. The original cast was even larger, before the show had to be postponed twice in 2010.
Faculty Follies I in 2006 was a fundraiser for McDonogh's sister school in hurricane-battered New Orleans. The effort was so entertaining and successful that teachers elected to stage it again, for a different cause.
So who were those weird Pillow People, anyway? You're right if you guessed class deans Alex Gardner, Nancy Love, Libet Ottinger, and Andy Hilgartner, along with Head of Upper School Kirsten Adams.