Welcome to Rock Chalk Revue
The Rock Chalk Revue production is a variety show that invites Greek organizations, residence halls, scholarship halls, and other student organizations to try out and create an original musical. Student groups work all year and compete to be chosen for five slots in the show, from which one winner is selected by a panel of judges. The show is staged at the Lied Center each spring, with proceeds going to support a new local charity every three years. Since the first show in 1949, over $2.5 million has been donated to local charities. The Rock Chalk Revue Advisory Board is the behind the scenes group that makes everything happen. It is comprised of 21 members, who facilitate all the fundraising, event organization, community service, public relations, communication with advisors, contracts with partners, directing of the show, charitable contributions, and more. Overall, there are more than 250 students that participate in Rock Chalk Revue each year.
Meet the Groups
The Rock Chalk Revue Advisory Board is the behind-the-scenes group that makes everything happen. It is comprised of 21 members, who facilitate all the fundraising, event organization, community service, public relations, communication with advisors, contracts with partners, directing of the show, charitable contributions, and much more.
Brief History of the Show
Seventy-Three Years ago, a business student by the name of Roy Wonder began the tradition we now call Rock Chalk Revue. Wonder was looking for a way to further exemplify the University of Kansas: a campus-wide variety show. During this time, K-State was producing a show called Y-Orpheum. Wonder used their production as inspiration for KU to do something quite similar. In 1949, Wonder was quoted in the University Daily Kansan as saying “The idea is well-established at many schools. We hope this show will be the first of many.”
In the beginning, few students joined Wonder in his enthusiasm for the show. That is until Ross Miller, the producer of K-State’s show, wrote a letter to the Kansan criticizing KU for stealing K-State’s idea. Fortunately, this caught the attention of many students at KU and sparked yet another rivalry between the two schools. What the students did not know, however, was that Miller and Wonder had concocted this plan to garner interest and support in the show.
With new, and more importantly, supportive interest from students, Wonder held a contest to name the show in 1949. Kathleen Larson won the competition for her entry “Rock Chalk Revue” and was awarded a $10 prize.
The first production of Rock Chalk Revue was held that same year in Hoch Auditorium, with an audience of close to 500 people. The tickets sold for $0.50 and proceeds were donated to the YMCA and the YWCA. The success of the first show sparked the interest of the KU campus and led to many more performances. Roy Wonder’s initial dream for a lasting tradition was finally realized. Though changes have been made in the past 67 years, the tradition of Rock Chalk Revue remains the same.
By 1959, Rock Chalk Revue reached another milestone by allowing co-ed groups to perform together. The tradition for an overall theme was started in 1964 with “Lacerated Legends.” Since then, the selection of a theme has become a standard Rock Chalk Revue tradition.
The United Way of Douglas County became the official recipient of proceeds from the show in 1991. Now, after raising over one million dollars for the United Way of Douglas County, Rock Chalk Revue has chosen House that Hawks Built, Habitat for Humanity, as this year’s recipient.
Roy Wonder had a simple vision to unite the University. His dream became a reality in 1949 and now, 73 years later, it lives on. United students in talent, philanthropy, leadership, and camaraderie, this year’s production promises to be the best show yet!