Dozens of Brookdale’s most talented young filmmakers, actors, singers, musicians, improv comedians and other performers took center stage on Feb. 15 during the first ever Night of the Arts showcase, held in the Performing Arts Center (PAC) in Lincroft.
From a side-splitting set by the new Brookdale Improv Troupe and a captivating documentary on the historic Atlantic Cinemas theater to Josh Bailey’s moving rendition of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” and Ramit Sharma’s performance of the Joyner Lucas rap “Bank Account Remix,” Night of the Arts shined a spotlight on the talent – and diversity – of the Brookdale arts community.
“At a community college you don’t expect to have a big art department. But here at Brookdale we do,” said Brookdale Film Club president Katie Wierdo. “We felt this was a fun, interesting way to highlight all of these different programs and show new students the different artistic paths they can pursue here. I’m very proud that it came together so well.”
The showcase, inspired in part by the STEM Institute’s annual STEM Quiz Bowl, was designed to strengthen the bonds between various arts and media programs and help forge a community of like-minded students, from upper-classmen to incoming freshmen.
It also served as a prominent showcase for aspiring student artists like Kevin Nenkov, who took the stage with his new alternative rock trio Blonde Girlfriend #2.
“It’s awesome,” said Nenkov, who formed the band with two Brookdale classmates. “I’ve played in other projects before, at venues up in New Brunswick and in Boundbrook and other places. I mostly play in basements, so it’s a really different experience playing on a big stage like this… It’s a great opportunity to bring this type of music to the community.”
Other performers, including Theater Club president and Brookdale Improv Troupe member Bailie Stypa, said they were excited to have the opportunity to try out new material in front of a live audience.
“Usually we have a select amount of performances throughout the year, so to have an opportunity to do something different, something that hasn’t really been done here, it’s really cool,” said Stypa, a theater major, who performed a monologue from the play “Vital Signs.” “It’s also great to showcase something that I’ve been working on at Brookdale.”
Night of the Arts also featured a visual arts display contributed by students in the Brookdale Art Society, live music performed by Brookdale’s own DJ Danny, and an opening address by Brookdale interim President David Stout. The showcase was supported by PAC coordinator Sherri Vanderspiegel, PAC staff and student workers, Brookdale technology operations specialist Nathan Zerbe, Professor Marie Maber and the Office of Student Life and Activities.
Learn more about Brookdale’s art, theater, music, film and radio programs by visiting the Humanities Institute webpage.
Check out more photos from Night of the Arts here.