On the brilliant stage there waits a microphone before an eager and supportive audience. Will you take it?

It’s a question that scores of students in weeks and semesters past have answered with a resounding “Yes” at the English Club’s Open Mic Nights. The concept of the events has always been simple: the club provides the Sykes theater, a standing microphone and hot pizza, and its members and guests provide the talent and the audience support. The event is open to all, and the club loves to see unexpected performers.

Though the English Club typically focuses on topics surrounding literature and other popular media, the Open Mic Night is prided for accepting and encouraging any and all types of live performances such as poetry and spoken-word readings, poetry slams, fiction, singing, instrumental music, dancing, acting, stand-up comedy, rap battles, audience-inclusive games and any other kind of performance that can be done on stage.

In the past, the Open Mic Night has hosted members of the WCU Irish Dance Team, musicians performing with their bands for the first time with a live audience and others performing in anticipation of an album release, singers performing either with musical accompaniment or a cappella, students reading their original and published poetry, students giving impassioned readings of celebrated feminist slam poetry, and many other spectacular performances.

Given the success of past Open Mic Nights, the English Club is proud to be hosting another such night on Wednesday, March 7. It will be held in the ground-floor Sykes theater from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. and will be open to everyone. There will be audio support for performers wishing to play background music on stage. You can email any accommodation questions to Club President Joyce Weiner at JW865765@wcupa.edu or Vice President Kirsten Magas at KM867219@wcupa.edu. Though performers are encouraged, to share their work students coming to be part of the audience are just as welcomed. It will be a safe space to perform: many attending students have admitted that Open Mic Night was their first time performing their art or skill in front of a crowd.

The English Club is an academic organization promoting reading and writing in all its forms, and has presented on topics such as poetry genres, feminist tropes, science-fiction and fantasy media, vampire and zombie fiction, queer literature and many more. The club meets on Mondays in Sykes room 254 from 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. and is open to all interested students.

If you’re harboring an artistic talent or performing skill and have always wanted a chance to display it in a supportive environment, we hope to see you on March 7!

Alex Liska is a second-year student majoring in English. ✉ AL849000@wcupa.edu.

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