Theatre students organize ongoing Open Mic Night

The Student Advisory Committee of the theater department is sponsoring an event that aims to stimulate interdepartmental networking by giving students a chance to be heard.

This Saturday night, the theater SAC will hold the first Open Mic Night at the Union Theatre.

Conceived by SAC treasurer and actor training program sophomore Natalie Blackman, the idea for the event was inspired by an experience she had in New York.

“I got the idea because I have a friend who manages an off-Broadway complex (where) they did an open mic night, and it was great fun,” Blackman said.

“They had some talented people,” she said. “But I thought, ‘I know more talented people at the University of Utah than those doing this open mic night in the middle of Manhattan — damn, we should do one!'”

Blackman said she took on the responsibility to head the event because it was her idea, but also expects to deal with the financial side of the event as per her role as treasurer.

“With donations, it could potentially help support more arts activities on campus,” she said.

Open Mic Night is scheduled for twice a semester with the next date set for Dec. 1.

“The goal is to make it an event that people can count on that will advertise itself because of the talented students we have at the U,” Blackman said.

She said anything goes for the material with her primary focus being a night of variety and an overall good time.

As of Monday, nine students were signed up to perform, with three coming from departments outside of the theater department.

Scheduled performers will present talents that include singing, guitar, dance, hip-hop performance, turntables and poetry.

Blackman said the event is not just geared toward theater majors and that she wants to get participants from all over campus.

“I know that we have talented people that are math, English or bioengineering majors that have lots of talent and that would be great to get people networking,” she said.

“This could be another event where you can see and be seen and hopefully meet other people who are interested in similar things as you,” she said.

Students can sign up to perform at the event, but are encouraged to arrive early to ensure a spot on the bill.

“It’s going to be very casual — very moment-to-moment,” Blackman said.

Blackman said she is most looking forward to seeing talented students from other departments perform.

“I don’t get to interact with them, ever,” she said.

“I know that’s a major issue for a lot of talented people at the U,” she said. “They’re all so busy in their own departments that no one gets out to see anything outside their own department, let alone collaborate with someone outside of it. This, I think, could be the start of that.”

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This Saturday the Theater Department is sponsoring an open Mic night in the Union Ballroom that will feature may multi media performances.