A dusty piano filled with character, an array of chairs toward the back, a wooden stage and a microphone stand toward the front. Rockin’ mood lighting, talented students and eager listeners: these reasonably simple essentials are what make UMD’s Open Mic Night — organized by the performing group, Kreativity Diversity Troupe — such a special place.
Just about twice a semester, the double doors of Cafritz Foundation Theater, in Clarice Performing Arts Center, welcomes with open arms, a hubbub of diverse performers and inspired audience members.
“We get a lot of songs, we get a lot of poems,” said junior theater major Whitney Geohagan, one of Kreativity’s artistic directors. “Sometimes we get oddballs, like people reading short stories or people hula-hooping. We get really weird things. You just come and sign up outside in the lobby, and then you can come in and do your thing.”
These nights are open to the public, and Kreativity members hosting the show encourage audience members to sign up, the night of.
“It’s just a chance to perform whatever you’ve been working on, for an accepting audience,” said junior theater major and Kreativity co-director Montana Monardes. “We’re always looking for people to perform, and everyone’s always so supportive. There’s nothing to be afraid of.”
During this last weekend’s show, the term “safe space” was tossed around, a way to describe the welcoming feel that Open Mic Night brings to its attendees.
“You don’t have to be a part of the group to be able to perform, to be creative,” Geohagan said. “You don’t have to be a theater major or an art major to be able to be artistic and perform that. Anyone can have their hobbies or creative talents, and they’ll have somewhere to share it here.”
The final Open Mic Night of the semester will be held in mid-October. It’s certainly not an event you want to miss.