Rowan’s final Open Mic Night of the year draws wide range of talents

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RAH held its last Open Mic Night of the semester this Friday in the Student Center Pit, co-sponsored with the Rowan Department of Theatre and Dance. Despite being the last, it certainly was not the least, as it featured an eclectic mix of student talent, which included musical numbers, poetry, magic and comedy.

The first act of the night was a performance from the cast of the upcoming Rowan show “Carrie: The Musical.”  

Allie Fogle, senior public relations and theater arts major, organized the performance as part of her senior project and capstone thesis.

“I’m a double major in PR and theater arts, so I’ve been doing a publicity and marketing campaign for ‘Carrie: The Musical,’” Fogle said. “A lot of our students sing and are musical theater majors, so I figured the Open Mic Night would be a good way to connect with students.”

According to Fogle, there was a Broadway show of this musical that “failed miserably” and became a famous flop. After a successful revival, the show became popular in high schools and colleges.

“It’s kind of bloody, kind of funny, so it’s a fun one to do,” Fogle added.

Director Christopher Roche introduced the cast and song, which is called “In.” The entire cast was present for the performance, enveloping much of the space in the Student Center Pit.

Freshman musical theater and dance major Kyle Jacobus is playing the male lead, Tommy Ross, who takes Carrie to the prom.

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“I got really involved with theater at my performing arts high school in Maryland. My sister introduced me to theater, and I thought if she could do it, I could do it. I got really passionate about it, and now here I am majoring in it.”

Jacobus expanded on the reasoning behind director Chris Roche’s decision to do this show, saying, “We’re doing ‘Carrie’ this year specifically as part of the Season of Horror. Our director thought this was a really good choice to wrap up our season, and it is. If you look at the material in it, it’s crazy, with bullying and dumping blood on someone.”

Junior radio, television and film major Nate Jones took to the stage for the second performance of the night. A guitarist, singer and comedian, Jones opened with a rendition of The Pixies’ “Where Is My Mind?”

“That’s for any teenage boy who’s seen ‘Fight Club,’” Jones said, following his opening song.

Later in the night, he also performed a stand-up set, which, along with his music, he has honed on the open mic circuit in Philly.

On his creative process, Jones said, “Songwriting, for me, is a lot easier than writing jokes, because with songs, I’ll play around and find a chord progression. I’ll listen to a song and want to do something like that, and get captured in that feeling. And normally a vocal melody will just come.”

Later in the night, senior law and justice major Tykara Mobley performed poems from her self-published book, titled “Grey Matter.” In this, Mobley included several slam poems that she performs, as well as ones that stay on the page and are left to readers’ interpretations.

“I think there’s different types of poems,” Mobley said. “Ones that are meant to be read out loud are more like slam poetry, which are more impactful. But I think poems like haikus are meant to stay on paper because it’s up for interpretation, so however you read it is how you connect to it.”

Freshman theater design major Gabby Franciosa appreciated the positive atmosphere created at the event.

“It’s awesome to see all my friends performing and having a great time for a good cause,” she said.

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