By: Casey Gannon
Kreativity Diversity Troupe held an open mic on Mar. 1 in the Cafritz Theater in the Clarice Performing Arts Center. Kreativity’s open mics are different from ordinary open mics because performances can include song, dance, spoken word or instrumental performance.
Kreativity was a group formed in the 1990s by African American actresses because there weren’t many shows for them to perform in. After some time, the group began to accept people of other races who struggled to find their place in the theatre world.
Today, Kreativity is more diverse than ever. The group is comprised of 25 to 30 members, half of which are theater majors.
The group produces one show during the semester. It is similar to a variety show, but each act is tied together by a common theme. Besides the main performance, Kreativity hosts multiple open mic nights throughout the semester.
Denisse Penaflor, a junior theatre major, is the artistic director of the group, or the equivalent of a club president. She joined Kreativity because she wasn’t sure if theatre was the right path for her. Penaflor began as an anthropology major on a pre-med track but soon realized that she belonged in theatre.
“Once I joined Kreativity, it just opened up so many opportunities for me,” Penaflor said. “I met a lot of people within the department and I got to be comfortable around Kreativity people.”
Besides opening up opportunities and meeting new people, Penaflor went on to say how much Kreativity allows her to express herself.
“I really got to stretch my mind and my creativity muscles,” Penaflor said.
Lydia Mohamed, a freshman studio art major, is a member of Kreativity but participated in open mic for the first time on Friday. Mohamed enjoys drawing, singing and dancing. Members of the group are strongly encouraged to participate in each open mic night. Mohamed was hesitant to participate at first, but her Kreativity friends encouraged her to sing.
“It’s an adrenaline rush,” Mohamed said.
Mohamed continued to express why she enjoys performing and being creative.
“It’s fun to share things that you keep to yourself,” Mohamed said. “It gives you a platform to share the other side of you that not many people see.”
Mohamed sang two songs with other members of Kreativity, and they chose songs they knew would be crowd favorites.
“We knew if we played ‘Crazy in Love’ and ‘I Want It That Way’ we were going to get the whole crowd’s attention,” Mohamed said.
Freshman behavioral and community health major Casey Ottenwaelder is an experienced open mic participant who performed with Mohamed. She is also a member of Kreativity and enjoys playing the guitar and singing. Throughout the evening, Ottenwaelder performed multiple times and expressed why she appreciates performing.
“Sometimes you can’t take yourself too seriously when you’re doing stuff, you need to have fun,” Ottenwaelder said. “That’s the nice thing about these open mics, everyone here is supportive.”
While Kreativity’s open mic structure remains the same each time, Penaflor explained how special each open mic is because each one is so unique.
“What’s different about our open mic is it is so open,” Penaflor said. “We’re very sweet and accommodating group for all types of talents out there.”