JBS’ Take on Halloween


Andrew Newman

The class of 2013 performs their take on the classic Halloween assembly.

Sophia Fox, Reporter

Halloween assemblies at Burroughs are a unique tradition. If you’re a student reading this article, you’ve definitely seen quite a few, or you soon will. Most students have likely recounted to their parents how ridiculous or clever the assembly was, or mentioned the possibility of a concussion from being hit in the head by so many pieces of hard candy. William Feurbacher ‘06 or Chris Lubniewski ‘07 might even remember the very origins of Halloween assemblies, so much so that they simply had to return to Burroughs to see more.

Every year, the seniors plan (or try to plan) a production of sorts. In recent years, the assemblies have often been very Saturday Night Live-esque, involving skits or dance performances. These assemblies started about thirty or more years ago, as choreographed dances put on by the hilariously costumed seniors, and it soon became an expectation for the seniors to put on some kind of funny performance for the student body every Halloween. Some classes have planned elaborate and extraordinarily well executed assemblies, while others have waited until the last minute and ended up with flops. Both are funny in their own regard.

Over the years, the assemblies shifted from choreographed dances to mimicking teachers. The students would dress up as their favorite teachers and perform a skit. It began as harmless fun—no one was offended. In 2009, Ian Nightingale ‘09 and Henry Schmidt ‘09 wrote a musical for their class to perform. The students travelled back in time as students of Burroughs from the 80’s. The class impersonated current fine arts teacher and photographer Mr. Andrew Newman ‘87, the football staff, physics teachers and others.

These teacher-inspired assemblies soon went too far. A senior class spoof on the Wizard of Oz proved to be the most offensive. Let’s just say that history teacher Holly Lorencz got a house dropped on her, and another teacher, who no longer works at Burroughs, was portrayed as the scarecrow without a brain, among other off-putting portrayals. This assembly ended with hurt feelings instead of lighthearted fun.

This type of Halloween assembly was immediately stopped. According to Mr. Abbott, “this style became boring—they did the same mimicking for three years.”
Since this fateful performance, the senior class has been putting on more creative and less hurtful assemblies.

The class of 2012 did a series of morning announcements and then a dance to “Thriller.” The class of 2013 covered a couple four-chord songs, mocking the pop industry and its lack of musical innovativeness.

The most complex and impressive assembly—and Mr. Abbott’s favorite—from my time at Burroughs is without a doubt from the class of 2015. Any student in ninth grade or above undoubtedly remembers this one. They did a Harry Potter sketch about the senior’s biggest fears, including getting a “B+,” another discussion of sustainability, and Bio Drey Land packets. The end of the skit morphed into a singing and dancing version of the song “Shia LaBeouf,” substituting in the name of then-senior class president Sachit Bhat ‘15 and complete with its own set of Burroughs fears. The assembly ended with Bhat, in a female cow costume, sitting in front of Haertter Hall alone. It was absolutley hilarious.

Let’s hope that the senior classes to come will continue this tradition and will add their own creative spin to the assemblies.