Few events at UT can lay claim to the recorded use of animal costumes by students to create a man-made "circus." But Carnicus, the annual group skit competition held by All Campus Events, can.
This Thursday, that tradition will continue in the Cox Auditorium at 7:30 p.m.
Over the last century, Carnicus has grown out of what was the June Jubilee, an end of year student celebration featuring the Glee Club, vaudeville and side shows. In 1929, Carnicus emerged as the entertaining spectacle we know today, primarily focusing on skits alone. After much preparation, organizations – such as paired fraternities and sororities – will sing, dance and act together in short, scripted performances.
These skits will earn points for the most impressive groups, adding those already awarded at Volunteer Challenge, Homecoming and All-Sing. As the last event in this series of four, Carnicus is the final opportunity for participating teams to achieve the highest score and thus secure the legendary ACE Cup.
For this year's Carnicus Director Sean Neal, the event is about more than winning bragging rights. It's an opportunity for students to work together and express themselves, establishing a strong dynamic among the group members.
"It is always exciting to see people shine bright on the stage during their performances," Neal, a senior in accounting said. "Also, I love how close it can bring participating organizations together. Before I joined ACE, I performed in Carnicus my freshman year. It was such a positive bonding experience."
Azaria Mccomsey, a sister of Kappa Kappa Gamma, echoed this sentiment, saying the time commitment for participants is not a burden but rather a chance to rehearse and spend time with close friends.
"We practice every Tuesday and Sunday," Mccomsey, a freshman in biochemistry and cellular and molecular biology, said. "It's fun though. I'm with my sisters."
In tandem with the sisters of Delta Delta Delta, Mccomsey's sorority will present a skit titled "Real Housewives in Neyland Stadium," based on the popular reality television series. Other teams will parody student life and pop culture as well, including movies like Disney's "Finding Nemo."
As much as fun as the performers have, Neal believes this event will be just as enjoyable for spectators.
"Attendees will have the opportunity to see creative and funny skits performed by truly talented students of the university," Neal said, emphasizing the "passion and dedication" of these participants.
Mccomsey agreed that Carnicus is sure to be a night of laughter and entertainment for everyone involved.
"It'll definitely be worth going to," Mccomsey said.
Tickets for the general public are on sale online for $15 at KnoxvilleTickets.com. Student tickets are available through the Central Ticket Office in the UC for $10 with a valid ID, while faculty and staff tickets cost $13. Doors are expected to open thirty minutes before performance time on April 25 in the Alumni Memorial Building.