The HBS Show began in 1974 with a handful of students, a few comedy sketches, song parodies, and one spotlight and now has transformed into a full-length Broadway styleschoppes.JPG musical that is entirely written, directed, produced, and performed by HBS students. For the past two years, we’ve had the privilege of writing and directing the 40th and 41st HBS Shows.

The show is written to encapsulate life at HBS within the context of a popular movie, musical, or television theme. You can literally apply any theme to the world of HBS...go ahead...try it, we’ll wait...see, isn’t it fun? We’ve spent many amusing hours of our #lifeatHBS deep in these kinds of thoughts. Last year, the Show theme was ‘Charlie and the Leaders Who Make A Difference in the World Factory’ and the most recent theme for the Show was ‘Harry Potter and the Classcard of Secrets.' It takes an entire year and over 60 RC and EC students and partners to go from theme conception to a live performance in Burden Auditorium.

The HBS campus is always buzzing with conferences, networking events and themed parties but what makes the HBS Show special is that it is the one event on campus that does not serve a student’s academic agenda, job search, social calendar or any of the typical things a student is supposed to do in business school. The HBS Show is created purely for the enjoyment of the HBS Community. It is a time for the community to laugh at ourselves...a lot.

Dean Nohria and Dee Leopold see themselves parodied each year and can attest that no one is spared when it comes to poking fun. However, it is also a time to celebrate thedee.JPG experiences we have had at HBS which is why the entire student body, faculty, staff and alumni fill Burden Auditorium every year. 

As writers and directors, we wanted the Show to be a vehicle through which the community came to laugh, be astounded by the talent of their classmates, find themselves and their experiences reflected on stage and leave feeling overwhelmed with happiness at having chosen to spend two years of their lives at HBS. We hope that is our legacy and we hope that is the show’s legacy. 

The #1 thing we and our cast and crew hear following the HBS Show is “thank you.” Thank you from ECs who are grateful for one last opportunity to remember and laugh at the incredible, and at times ridiculous, experiences HBS brings. Thank you from RCs who are overworked and exhausted by April and had, at times, put up blinders to the magic of HBS. If HBS could measure love, it would surely peak on campus during the week of the Show. 

As much as we love to hear people’s thanks, as Directors we can’t help but feel we owe The HBS Show the most gratitude. The Show gave us so many things: a management experience unlike anything we had prior to school, a vehicle to meet some of HBS’s most talented students who we now have the privilege to call dear friends, and most importantly the opportunity to deeply reflect about the experiences we have had as HBS students in order to bring it to life on the stage.

It means we have taken every moment over the last two years to stop and look around and truly see HBS. Yes, it was in our job description but it has been an enormous gift to us.