The logo of the lilting banshees: a silhouette of The Thinker in a jesters cap against a yellow background.
The Lilting Banshees are a sketch comedy group on Wake Forest’s campus.
Courtesy of the Lilting Banshees

Lilting Banshees kick off school year

Broyhill Auditorium was filled with laughter as the 17 members of the Lilting Banshee Comedy Troupe hit the stage with their annual back-to-school performance on Tuesday, Aug. 29.

The theater was packed during both of the hour-and-a-half long shows at 8 p.m. and 10 p.m.

As the Banshees shuffled through their more light-hearted skits, the crowd erupted as troupe members galloped across the stage as elementary school students pretending to be horses on the playground. Smiles filled the auditorium as the troupe showcased a stereotypical example of girls interacting in the bathroom of a fraternity party and highlighted the struggles of Greek and non-Greek interaction at the bus stop waiting for Wake Downtown.

Because performance was geared towards welcoming freshmen students to Wake Forest, the troupe exaggerated the personalities of different Greek organizations and played on the nervous emotions that many first-year students experience. The troupe members acted out a stereotypical example of the struggles that freshmen boys face trying to secure rides to a fraternity and repeatedly reminded its audience to always bring ping pong balls to every party.

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However, unlike many other previous shows, this show’s repertoire of skits boasted some more darker humor. Playing on the dual meaning of roast, one of the skits had the actors sit in a coffee shop and receive a “roast,” or criticism, based on the type of “roast,” light, medium or dark, their coffee was. In addition, through a series of three vignettes, the Banshees acted out scenes portraying different life moments, such as a wedding engagement, job promotion and the verdict of a medical illness, where one of the actors was thinking they were about to receive great news and were rather met by terrible news and a flash mob.

Overall, the comical mix of light-hearted and dark humor made the show extremely captivating from start to finish.

The Lilting Banshees, led by senior Sam Ederle, is a student-run organization that performs three comedy shows a year with two in the fall and one in the spring.

“Being director of the Lilting Banshees for my senior year in this Troupe is everything I hoped for and more,” Ederle said. “The members of this troupe make life on this campus fun, crazy, weird and awesome all while continuing to create great comedy. We just had an amazing show and I can’t wait to finish auditions and start the process all over again with our new members.”

Yet all of the jokes don’t just take place on stage. The banshees spend multiple hours before the start of school writing and preparing for their performances.

“Every year you gain a little bit more confidence as a writer and a performer, so it’s exciting to get up on stage and perform as a senior,” said senior Ellie King. “That being said, it’s difficult to grasp that this show is one of the last that the seniors will perform in as banshees. The troupe has been an integral part of my time at Wake Forest, and I know for certain that Banshees has opened my eyes to a whole number of possibilities after graduation, too.”

Other seniors on the troupe echoed the same excitement for the new year.

“I can’t really comprehend that I only have two shows left with the Banshees,” said senior Meghan Shannon. “I’m so grateful to have had the chance the spend the past three years laughing with some of my favorite people on campus. Welcome to Wake is the perfect way to start off our last year with the troupe and I hope that everyone loves it the way we have the past two weeks.”

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