Arts Night and Open Mic brings people together

The Crescent Players put on their first Arts Night and Open Mic on Thursday, Nov. 7. The night consisted of a few bands, the Southern dance team, NOTEorious the a capella group, and people reading their original works of literature and poetry from Folio.

The president of Crescent Players, Vittoria Cristante, was one of the main people planning and putting the night together. She said the point of Arts Night was to bring everyone together
from different artistic backgrounds together to appreciate one another’s work.

“Arts Night for us was our opportunity to bring all the different arts on campus together,” said Cristante. “We are also in this building as the theater department, and the music department and the art department are in Earl. I don’t think we ever really cross over except for the musical, and I wanted to bring all of our groups together since we are all artists and one big community in the end.”

The first performances of the night were Vamp 42 and Audio Contraband,
two bands based locally from Southern. According to Cristante, Vamp 42 is the band of the adviser of the Crescent players, who plays with his wife and sister, and Audio Contraband’s guitarist currently goes to Southern, and the singer of the band used to.

After the bands played, NOTEtorious, the a capella group on campus performed three songs, followed by the Southern dance team, who danced to a remix of the song “Eye of the Tiger,” before leaving the stage to Folio. Folio, the undergraduate art and literary magazine featured two main readers, one of which was IDS major Genevieve Jaser, a junior.

She said she has been writing stories since the second grade, but since being at Southern she finds herself writing more and more frequently.

“I am going to be reading two of my poems that are pretty emotional,” said Jaser. “I am hoping that they will make people stop and think and ask some questions about themselves. One of the pieces is a letter to three people. I am almost revealing how I felt, the things I should’ve said, but didn’t, and maybe some things I shouldn’t have said. The other poem is comparing hunting an animal to a break up.”

Following the two readers from Folio was a quick excerpt of what to expect in the upcoming play “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare,” in which they will perform all of his plays in 90 minutes.

Two of the actors for the play showed their version of Romeo and Juliet in under 90 seconds. After Jaser read her poetry, Natalie Rogers, the editor of Folio, introduced the next reader to the audience.

“Melissa has been a lifelong reader, a committed creative writer and a compassionate advocate for mental health needs of herself as well as others,” said Rodgers. “Melissa is very open about sharing details about her own diagnosis and treatment regarding Schizoaffective Disorder, and she refuses to let this condition define her. She even explores themes of mental illness and family dysfunction in her most apt way of self-expression: fiction writing.”

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