After Dark allows students to shine bright at Baylor

Aurora, Ill., senior Sierra Raheem performs her spoken word. Ali Barnett | Roundup Photo Editor

By Tyler Bui | Staff Writer

Students performed their talents onstage at 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday at After Dark, a variety show and art expo produced by the Baylor Student Activities and Student Productions committees.

The performance contained 14 acts that included singers, dancers, instruments, spoken word and a juggler.

The Student Productions and Baylor Student Activities committees have been working since April to create a diverse show that encompasses the different talents on campus.

Scottsdale, Ariz., junior Audra Hoover is the executive producer of the show.

“Sing and Pigskin have a structure to them, but with After Dark, it’s just [Student Productions] coming up with the theme, the set design, the lobby design, what acts we want in it and promoting the show too,” Hoover said. “With every year, it’s just an improvement and to make it more well-known on campus.”

Spring senior Marion Rene’ Dubose performed a manifesto of songs on the electric violin, including: “Apologize” by OneRepublic, “Demons” by Imagine Dragons, “Titanium” by David Guetta, “Firework” by Katy Perry and “Replay” by Iyaz.

Dubose has been playing the electric violin for over six years and was originally taught to play the violin by his sister in middle school.

“I realized that you could do more with the electric violin, so I thought it’d be pretty cool to try something new,” Dubose said. “I started teaching myself how to play different styles of music like hip hop, r&b, alternative and classic music—I basically just made it my own.

He said his favorite part of performing was seeing the crowds’ reaction and sharing his passion for music with them.

“I just love making people happy and being able to not only just play the violin, but to inspire others to learn more about instruments,” Dubose said. “I always like it when I finish playing and everyone has a smile on their face.”

Aurora, Ill., senior Sierra Raheem performed an original spoken word piece titled “The Reason Why Fools Fall in Love.” The piece explored the idea of love and how it can be “blissful” and a “disease” at the same time.

Raheem has been performing spoken word since she was 15 and said her favorite part about performing is being able to engage with the audience and see their reactions.

“I decided to perform because I love performing spoken word, and I thought it’d be really cool to expand the audience that I usually perform spoken word with,” Raheem said. “I was in my political science class, and I just started thinking about love in general, and I was making fun of myself and things that my friends have told me. I kind of put it all together.”

Spicy Boiz were the final act of the event, performing an original rap titled “Groovin.” Ft. Worth senior Igor Stepczynski; San Jose, Calif., senior Isaiah Scott; Allen junior Jeremiah Robinson; and Sinking Spring, Pa., senior Steven Kuipers make up the group. With their energy, ’70s-themed costumes and catchy lyrics, the group ended the night with an exciting and audience-engaging performance.

The group has been together for over a year and were friends who decided to create something more.

“We really enjoyed each other as friends and wanted to keep doing things together. We saw concerts as a way to stay together, but also to give back [to the community], which has been super cool,” Kuipers said. “We all want to see the audience come alive, and because we’re all passionate about that, we work really well together. We just love being on stage and giving back in a fun and creative way.”

Looking back on the whole experience of After Dark, one specific individual came to Hoover’s mind.

“One of my favorite things about After Dark is Igor Stepczynski— he’s performed in After Dark every year,” Hoover said. “He was the first act I ever produced at Baylor, so seeing him do [After Dark] over and over again has really brought me joy.”

Rockwall senior Lizzie Faletto, a member of the Student Productions committee, said she enjoys seeing the outreach After Dark provides on campus.

“It’s really just a taste of everything. When I think of [After Dark], I think of ‘America’s Got Talent’ in the sense that there’s a lot of different acts,” Faletto said. “My favorite part, to the root of it, is seeing people all over campus getting to perform their talents that they love to do.”