Photo Gallery: House History in Living Dioramas
“If you were making a museum of your House, what parts of your House’s history would you put on display?”
The year-long quest for the House Cup is a beloved element of student life for many King’s students. From the Great Race kicking off the fall semester to the debates and prepared lectures of Interregnum, competitions afford opportunities for feats of creativity, bonding over shared struggle, and some good-natured House rivalry.
For the first time, The House History Competition this February required students to create a living diorama (also known as a tableau) in response to the prompt, “If you were making a museum of your House, what parts of your House’s history would you put on display?”
Houses more than rose to the challenge of this new competition format. Students contacted alumni to find ideas for their scenes. In a five-hour set-up period, they posed props, audio recordings, their fellow House members, and the occasional House advisor to portray scenes from their history.
In one scene, House of Bonhoeffer advisor Doc Salyers moved his head like an Animatronic in a portrayal of his famed backyard cookouts. In another, House of Susan B. Anthony members recall the leading role their House played in volunteering members for the newest House, the House of Corrie ten Boom. The House of Reagan depicted the time when their House skipped a House Competition altogether to eat steak and potatoes. The House of Sojourner Truth, with intricate replicas of famous works of art, displayed their tradition of revealing Big/Little pairings at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Housing manager Joshua Hinen, who oversaw the competition and wrote the rules, said he was encouraged overall by the student reception. He added, “This year’s House History Comp was a celebration of each House’s unique traditions and quirks, contained within a campus classroom space. Each room had a distinct atmosphere that allowed viewers to experience the House’s culture in an immersive way.”
Several House presidents expressed appreciation for the chance to try a new kind of competition. Annie Mae Jones (RTS ’20), the president of Thatcher, said, “There are some members of our student body who are really into museums and this was a great way to display their creative imaginations. I’m very glad that this type of competition highlights their strengths.”
Reagan President Joseph “Fritz” Scibbe (HUM ’21) added, “My House loved getting involved and we had a great time. It was better than the film competition last year. We had five or six participate last year; this year we had over twenty guys involved.”
Emma Oesterreicher (MCA ’21), the president of ten Boom, echoed this sentiment: “All the girls in my House had fun. I loved the film competition [a previous format used for the House History Competition], but this was an opportunity for more people to get involved.”