While Lee Day is full of fun events for prospective students, one of the most highly anticipated events for future and current students alike puts a hyperbolic, comical spin on day-to-day life on campus.
Life at Lee is traditionally a skit put together by Kingdom Players, Lee’s traveling drama team, which takes a light-hearted glance at campus life and pop culture.
Life at Lee was first created in the late ’80s, around the time Dr. Paul Conn became president, as a creative way to recruit students to Lee, currently led by Director Michael Delbonis.
Delbonis has been the leader of Kingdom Players for six years now but has been involved with Life at Lee since he was a student himself.
Delbonis said the process for creating the show takes about four months as the team usually begins brainstorming ideas in December. It begins by looking at what is hot in pop culture at the time and seeing what could be spoofed and related to Lee’s campus life.
“It’s a lot of talking things through,” said Delbonis. “We basically make a list of 25 things we could do and weed out the things that we don’t [think] ... are funny, we don’t know if we can do or if we can’t pull them off.”
For Delbonis and his team, the main difficulty of creating the show is figuring out humorous starting material that is feasible on stage.
Sophomore education major Carissa Leonhardt has been a part of Kingdom Players since fall of 2017 and helps create the script for Life at Lee.
“I, along with the other Kingdom Players, work together to write all of the skits and videos for Life at Lee,” said Leonhardt. “We also are casted in the show as different roles. There is opportunity for all eight of us to use our strengths to make the show happen. Some of us are better at writing scripts while some of us are better at brainstorming stage ideas. We edit videos, make props, pick out costumes and more.”
Before Delbonis and Kingdom Players ran the show, it was directed by Vice President for Enrollment, Phil Cook. Cook directed the show for 10 years along with a student committee he put together.
Now, Cook has less of a role in the planning of the show, but he still oversees the scripts when they are ready. He is very passionate about Life at Lee and what it can do to help sway students to Lee.
“What we are doing right now [with Life at Lee] is not spiritual, but if what we do here today makes them think, ‘Oh, that’s the most creative thing I’ve seen. I can’t believe they are doing it. How funny is that?” and, in that moment, they say they want to come to Lee, and then they come to Lee, and their life is changed, then what we are doing is spiritual,” said Cook.
This year’s show can be expected to have spoofs on well-known commercials like the Pepsi commercial with Steve Carell. Attendees can also expect to see spoofs of the TV show “The Bachelor” and “The Bachelorette.” The group has also added skits referencing a 20-year-old movie franchise that is releasing a new installment this year.
Life at Lee will be held this Saturday, April 6 at 3 p.m. in the Conn Center. No ticket purchase is necessary, and seats are first come, first served.
For more information on Life at Lee, contact Director of Kingdom Players Michael Delbonis at firstname.lastname@example.org.