Rows of chairs lined the Sharp Theatre’s stage on Tuesday, in preparation of Ramapo’s most recent CafÃ© Sharp. Student performers and supporters filled those chairs, ready to enjoy a variety of different talents displayed by the students of Ramapo.
CafÃ© Sharp is organized by Alpha Psi Omega, the Theatre Honor Society and gives students the chance to perform to an intimate audience. CafÃ© Sharp is open to all different talents, whether it is singing, dancing, comedy, performing a scene or reciting poetry. AYO Secretary, Anna Birks, explains that CafÃ© Sharp was started to give students the chance to showcase their many talents.
“Alpha Psi Omega organizes these shows to give students a chance to share their talents with the school. Musical performances are very popular during CafÃ© Sharps because Ramapo does not have a music building and these really talented musicians don’t have too many opportunities to perform around campus,” Birks said. “Open Mic nights allow students to highlight their abilities in a supportive environment.”
The supportive environment and opportunity to perform are among the benefits CafÃ© Sharp gives the students of Ramapo.
Birks explains, “CafÃ© Sharp benefits students because it gives them a place to bring their talent. If you perform at a CafÃ© Sharp, you are going to be performing to an audience that wants you to do well. It also gives students a place to practice performing. For example, Dan Kropa, who is the captain of the Fooligans improv troupe, tried out some new stand up comedy accompanied by piano at the latest CafÃ© Sharp and the crowd loved it.”
Dan Kropa was one of many students who took the opportunity to perform at CafÃ© Sharp on Tuesday. Besides Kropa’s comedy act, there were numerous musical numbers, some accompanied by guitar or piano and some who simply sung a cappella. The songs performed ranged from rap to alternative to show tunes. Some students took the opportunity to play their own original songs.
Freshman Colin Verhoff started off the show by performing two covers accompanied by his acoustic guitar.
Before the show, Verhoff described how he felt by saying, “I’m pretty nervous. I think performing to a big crowd is equally as nerve wracking as performing to an intimate crowd if you want to do well.”
Despite his nerves, Verhoff explained that CafÃ© Sharp is a fun way to encourage students to come out and perform.
“It’s just kind of fun to play for people. It gives me motivation to play a bar or two,” Verhoff said.
While Verhoff came to perform, freshman Jordan Edwards came to CafÃ© Sharp just to enjoy the show and support his friends.
“I came because I love my friends. I have multiple friends performing tonight. I’m looking forward to seeing all of the performances. I don’t have any specific favorite,” Edwards said.
Edwards described what makes CafÃ© Sharp different than the other Open Mic nights hosted by the school.
“I think it’s more geared towards students in the theatre department than the regular Open Mic nights,” Edwards said.
Regardless of major or performance style, however, Birks urges students of all talents to come to CafÃ© Sharp and put on a show.
“Students should come out and perform simply because it’s fun,” Birks said. “Ramapo College is full of extremely talented students, Alpha Psi Omega gives them a place to show off their abilities and they return the favor by putting on a great show.”