By Chelsie Derman
Arts & Entertainment Editor
TCNJ Musical Theatre (TMT) held their first virtual Broadway Night on Tuesday, Mar. 16 at 8:30 p.m., giving members the perfect opportunity to showcase their talents.
“I think the event went really well,” said Lauren Gruman, a freshman speech pathology major and member of TMT who performed at Broadway Night. “Everyone was so supportive and the board made sure the event went super smoothly.”
While the setup of Broadway Night in no way compares to how the event appears in person — a stage replaced with blocks of Zoom squares — that had little influence on the event’s success and the enjoyment level of TMT members.
“Usually our membership piles into the Library Auditorium, (which) creates that supportive atmosphere in person,” said Molly Hurst, president of TMT and a junior history and secondary education major. “However, I still feel like the Zoom call created that love. Audience members watched as I shared my screen and were piling the chat with supportive comments as we watched our lovely TMT members perform.”
Members of TMT pre-recorded their performances and sent them to the organization to be compiled into a single, fluid video. Before every performance video, a black screen showed the student’s name, the song they will be performing and where the song came from.
“We decided to make it a video because we understood that various technical issues can occur (on) zoom, and we wanted our members to (create) performances beforehand to avoid this issue,” Hurst said.
Hurst shared what the planning of Broadway Night looked like.
“So, starting in February, Valentina Zapata (TMT’s Vice President) and myself sent out a qualtrics for people to ‘submit’ two songs to sing during Broadway Night,” Hurst said. “Songs were chosen on a first-come-first-serve basis, and the second song was there as a safety in case their first song was already chosen by another member.” After, they reviewed the submissions and “sent acceptance emails,” according to Hurst, and most students received their first song choice. On Feb. 26, TMT members sent their video submissions to the TMT email.
Throughout the event, the audience raved about the performances as the videos played.
“My favorite part of the night was watching the chat and how supportive our audience members were,” Hurst said. “It truly made my heart swell and reminded me how awesome theatre can be!”
To one of the student’s performances, an audience member said, “This is literally everything.” Then, another audience member added in the chat to the same performance — “Literally jaw droppingly talented.”
Furthermore, the next performance by Gruman — “Pretty Funny” from the musical “Dogfight” — had student’s racing to the comments.
From “your voice is so comforting,” to “when she can act AND sing, the talent,” to “your voice is like a hug,” students all over actively complimented the singer, and this common trend occurred throughout Broadway Night in regards to all the performances.
All in all, members of TMT had a great time.
“I personally had a fantastic time,” Hurst said. “I forgot (how) much I miss performing, and I think gathering together and watching Broadway Night reminded us of that thrill!”
All students can attend TMT’s General Body Meetings Wednesday at 4 p.m.