A ‘Grand Night’ of song and dance with Elon University musical theatre majors

As the stage lights rise in Yeager, the freshman musical theatre class runs out from the audience, dressed in their “blacks,” to perform “All Shook Up.” Running around on stage, arms wide open, they belt out the tunes at the top of their lungs in melodic unison. The senior class watches from below, awaiting their turn to perform, and remembering when they still had three years left of their time as musical theatre majors at Elon.

On the weekend of April 5 and 6, the musical theatre majors at Elon University got together to perform at Grand Night. Grand Night, the last time most musical theatre majors perform before the end of the year, is a musical review of different Broadway songs performed by different groups of people from the musical theatre department.

Songs this year included “Footloose,” from Footloose, “Take Back Your Mink,” from Guys and Dolls, and both “All Shook Up” and “Burning Love,” from All Shook UpThey also included two student arranged pieces: a mash-up of “Journey to the Past” and “Out There” arranged by junior David Newman and as well as “Run Away with Me,” arranged by freshman Ryan Monroe. All of the pieces were directed and choreographed by students in the department.

“Theatre is a team sport,” senior Chris Kalfas said in his speech at the end of the show on that Saturday night. One of the most important things Kalfas said he had learned this year, and throughout his four years at Elon, is that a successful scene depends on the relationship between you and your partner as well as making sure that you’re giving your fellow actors what they need while in the scene.

“Your friends’ successes are your successes and your failures are theirs,” Kalfas said. He said that the industry he and his friends were trying to get into is crazy and masochistic, but that they have to make sure they don’t lose themselves to its competitive nature

Grand Night is the last night most seniors will perform on a stage at Elon. This brings up anxieties on starting a new life somewhere else after graduation, finding new friends and leaving your old ones.

“I know when I move to the city, I’m going to have 16 family members that will be there to take care of me,” Kalfas said.

Not only are the people family on stage but they also treat each other like family in their daily lives.

“Please take care of each other and take care of your family because no matter what, they’re the ones you’ve got for the rest of your life,” Kalfas said.

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One thought on “A ‘Grand Night’ of song and dance with Elon University musical theatre majors

  1. Merissa, these kinds of end-of-career events can be fun to cover because they can be filled with emotion and drama. You capture a bit of the performance in your lede, which works nicely. But continue that theme throughout the story. Show us what’s happening, don’t just tell us. Give us the emotion. We want to see what these folks were going through. We also want to hear from them. You have only one source in this story, and that’s not enough. Always multi-source your stories. And here, you wanted to talk to other performers, who could tell you about their feelings before, during and after the performance. Are they sad? Excited? That’s what we, as readers, want to know. The audio slideshow is a nice touch. It’s good that we can hear them perform. But you needed to include another element with that one. Challenge yourself to find and use great multimedia options. You can find your grade on Moodle.

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