By Kj Burkley | Reporter
Baylor Student Activities and Student Productions’ After Dark will take center stage Friday night in Waco Hall. Friday’s show is just one of two that will occur this weekend, the second being 8 p.m Saturday night.
Part of Family Weekend, After Dark highlights talented acts and an art expo, and has become a way that Baylor students can get involved and appreciate the arts on campus. This is part of why Audra Hoover, the executive producer of this year’s After Dark, is excited about the event.
“It’s a good time for freshmen to actually come and get involved together because a lot of people and families do come to town,” Hoover said. “So whether you are auditioning or seeing the show, it’s a good thing to showcase who Baylor is and that we have so many talented people around here.”
Hoover said that coordinating for After Dark is a process that has taken place last spring semester and all through summer. The different committees from Student Productions, Student Activities and Waco Hall stage crews spends many hours outside of school time preparing for the show.
Each year, After Dark produces a new theme, this year’s being graffiti. Hoover is communicating this through the different explorations of theme, the crew members, talent acts and artists. All will work to convey a collective element that they feel Baylor students, families, faculty and staff will enjoy.
“One way we show that we’ve evolved is our themes,” Hoover said. “After Dark takes a different theme in a way. Last year it was the ‘50s, kind of a diner vibe. We’ve had themes like a circus or a backyard trip. This year is graffiti, which is another cool art form. We just show that we can each year bring a new aspect with each new theme.”
According to Hoover, the selection process for the talent show was difficult because those who auditioned were all entertaining. Auditions included acts like singing, comedy, poetry, acting and submissions for the art expo.
Isaiah Scott, who is a member of the ‘Spicy Boiz’, a group that performed last year and will again this year, said that the positive atmosphere at After Dark drove the group to audition again.
“It’s a really fun atmosphere to be in,” Scott said. “People really look forward for performers to succeed. For our group, Jeremiah, Steven and I have built a very strong friendship through the Spicy Boiz. After Dark is a great opportunity to have a fun senior year moment and enjoy before we graduate college. We can come back and enjoy the celebration of each other and our friends through art.”
Scott said he loved that the Spicy Boiz could bring college students together through rap, comedy and singing. He also expressed his gratitude that the After Dark staff provided them the opportunity to perform for the Baylor community.
“I just want to say a big thank you to all of the people who put on After Dark,” Scott said. “Thanks to Student Activities and Student Productions for helping perfect our performance, and the stage technicians for being there to help polish our act the best it can be.”
In addition to the show, A Taste of Waco food trucks will be present. Cheryl Mathis, assistant director of campus programs, says the food trucks will hopefully encourage more of the Baylor and Waco communities to come experience After Dark.
“The Chamber of Commerce wanted to boost more visibility around After Dark,” Mathis said. “So they worked with us to plan to have the food truck festival outside of Waco Hall. Of course, we agreed to this idea because we liked that different tastes come to After Dark.”
Tickets for both the Friday and Saturday night showings will be on sale Friday morning and will be available to purchase at the door as well. Prices are $10 for students showing a valid Baylor ID, and $15 for the general public.
With many families coming to Waco to visit for Family Weekend, After Dark will be an event that Baylor Student Productions hopes everyone experiences and enjoys.
“I want people to come in and feel this creative, free self-expression,” Hoover said. “I want them to say, ‘This is Baylor. This is where I want to be.’”