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Keenan Revue sells out in 11 minutes

Madeline Buckley | Thursday, February 5, 2009

The men of Keenan Hall have spent six months putting together the highly anticipated comedy show, the Keenan Revue, but it only took 11 and a half minutes for tickets to the show to sell out on all three nights, show director Danny Wheeland said.

Students enjoy the merciless mocking of Notre Dame life every year because a group of about 100 Keenan Hall residents work as writers, actors, stage crew, publicists and more to produce this campus fixture.

“We get the staff together in September, and in October, we start thinking of a theme,” Wheeland said. “From there, we hype up all guys in the dorm, especially the freshman, letting them know what the Revue is.”

The staff then waits until second semester to start the actual production of the revue, he said.

As the director Wheeland, along with producer Andrew Derksen, is in charge of hiring staff, overseeing the writing of the skits and collecting funds for the show. The Hall receives a small amount from the Student Activities Office, but most of the funding comes from donations from Keenan Hall alumni, Wheeland said.

Wheeland and Derksen said they chose head writers to oversee the ‘Revue News’ segment of the Keenan Revue, write as many skits as possible and help with the skits submitted by other hall residents in an open call.

“The head writers are the most experienced and have written many skits in the past,” Derksen said. “We try to get them to write as many skits as they can.”

“They are guys who are generally known to be funny guys,” Wheeland said.

After the skits are written, there are auditions to play the different roles in the show, Wheeland said. This year, there are between 20 to 25 skits, he said.

The show, entitled “It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane, It’s the Keenan Revue!” has a superhero theme this year, Wheeland said.

One skit explores Notre Dame’s dining halls, specifically the relationship between students and workers, he said.

Wheeland said another skit attempts to answer the question of what really happens when girls go to the bathroom.

“There is such a wide variety of content in all the skits,” Derksen said.

The show is then performed for the Rector of Keenan Hall, Fr. Dan Nolan, who can veto any objectionable material.

“He sits in during tryouts and gives his approval of skits so you won’t get the completely obscene and ridiculous skits,” Derksen said.

Wheeland said a couple of skits were omitted during the tryouts, but they were skits that would not have made the final cut anyways.

“We know what’s appropriate,” Derksen said.

Since the Revue will be held at Saint Mary’s O’Laughlin Auditorium, the College reviews the show to ensure it is “not just bashing Saint Mary’s,” Wheeland said.

“It’s touchy,” Derksen said. “They usually let a couple things go as long as you aren’t blatantly making fun of them and not making fun of anyone else.”

If there are just a couple of things in the show, they usually let that slide, Wheeland said.

“We do little things to get around it like ‘Saint Monica’s College,'” he said.

Derksen and Wheeland said they are looking forward to the show and hope to hear laughter in the crowd.

“Hopefully there will be laughter,” Wheeland said. “If not, they you will hear crying from me.”