"Covers the campus like the magnolias"

Old Gold & Black

'Covers the campus like the magnolias'
"Covers the campus like the magnolias"

Old Gold & Black

"Covers the campus like the magnolias"

Old Gold & Black

Lilting Banshees take on familiar targets in sold-out performances

The troupe’s sketches often touch on Greek life and school administration
Courtesy of the Lilting Banshees
The Lilting Banshees are a sketch comedy group on Wake Forest’s campus.

On Sept. 5, the Lilting Banshees gave two performances in Brendle Recital Hall. Since their inception in 1998, Banshees shows have been a popular social event for Wake Forest students. This year was no different, with the troupe selling out both their 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. performances. 

The performance begins with a video segment about a Wake Forest Survival Guide — resembling that of the popular Nickelodeon show “Ned’s Declassified” — where two Wake Forest students take the audience throughout popular spots on Wake Forest’s campus, including The Pit, sorority and fraternity lounges and the Upper Quad. 

Since Greek life is a large part of the social environment at Wake Forest, the Banshees never fail to make their audiences laugh with material that focuses on Wake Forest’s sororities and fraternities. Highlights include skits where stereotypes from each sorority and fraternity come together. 

For this show, the Banshees focused on stereotyping members of Delta Kappa Epsilon as sexual predators. Theta Chi, colloquially referred to as “Tachi,” was also a main subject of the Banshees’ performance. Since June 2023, Theta Chi has not been recognized by the university due to hazing practices. The Banshees’ skit played on this event, depicting an overly-macho Theta Chi with tight clothes who enters the stage with heroic music playing.  

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This figure puts a shield that was way too small for him on his chest and then declares it his mission to find a powerful group of Theta Chis. After a brief intermission, the Theta Chi is then called to be reprimanded by Wake Forest President Susan Wente and Associate Dean of Student Conduct Jim Settle and eventually banished from being a fraternity on the Wake Forest campus. 

The comedy group’s material also discussed the “rankings” of sororities and fraternities. For example, the Sigma Alpha Epsilon representative immediately rejects the Lambda Chi Alpha representative from being higher in the rankings. In a replication of the popular video game Among Us, “Casper the friendly Chi Psi” is the last one to survive the attacks from a Wake Forest graduate student.  

Another nod at Greek life was a skit depicting three Banshees acting as leading members of Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority. They addressed the issue of the sorority’s lack of diversity throughout their pledge classes. One of the members was even so appalled that they should recruit members that are “less blonde!” The skit ends with one of the members proposing a new recruitment campaign, “LGBTQ.” In this case, “LGBTQ” stands for “Let’s Get Blasted Tonight Queens.” 

Administrators gained particular attention in this Banshee’s performance. A student’s impression of Wente earned a strong response from the audience. The Banshees’ Wente met students and was so excited to make a group chat for the first time. “Your girl Wente!” made students uncomfortable when she asked what the plans were for a night out. Wente then texted her other colleagues at Wake Forest to ask them what they were doing that night, including Settle. 

Aside from the clear showstopping segments, there were also some skits that lacked in their effect on the audience. For example, one student imitated a doctor eating his Hot Cheetos, unbothered while someone was being stabbed to death on a battlefield. It felt like an attempt at a spoof on a Hot Cheetos commercial, but it was not very effective for this demographic of college students. Another skit depicted Wente banning alcohol at Wake Forest and Greek life members having to travel to Appalachian State University to get alcohol. While a creative concept, too much time was focused on the Alpha Sigma Phi boys pulling this group all the way to App State. Compared to all the other skits, it felt like these skits lacked creativity. 

While some skits missed, the overall performance made audiences laugh and left the auditorium quoting parts of the show. The performers’ energy was contagious. These lively performers show how much fun it is to make fun of ourselves. Attending the Banshees feels like one long inside joke, where we all come together to collectively laugh about our experiences here at Wake Forest.

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