The Student News Site of Marian University

The Student News Site of Marian University


The Student News Site of Marian University


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Performance Creativity in the Time of COVID


By Julia Akre

In the time of restrictive gatherings, Marian University has seen a decrease in opportunities for students who are performance-based creatives to express themselves. According to Taylor Kowalski, Campus Activities Board (CAB) president, due to COVID-19 restrictions, CAB had to cancel one of their monthly open mic nights.

Alpha Delta Gamma, Marian’s fraternity, tried their hand at hosting a talent show in Alumni Hall on March 16 to provide a stage to students.

Marcus Fierek, president of Alpha Delta Gamma, aimed to give back the stage these students have been missing. He desired to create a space where everyone was welcome to showcase their talents. According to Connect, the Union for Black Identities (UBI) held the last student engaging event on February 18th. Prior to that, the Campus Activities Board held a Lip Sync Battle on October 2, 2020.  

The first to be called on stage for the talent show was Matthew Riehle, a freshman double major in marketing and finance. A magician since 9th grade, Riehle had felt the lack of opportunities on campus to bring a smile to those through his magic in this time of social distancing and lockdowns.

Mary Carmen Zikrajsek, another student who took the opportunities to perform, talked about the struggle of going so long without her primary source of expressive art.

“My joy for playing the guitar has been hindered,” she said. “I am definitely one that likes to play in the streets. I like to play for people, and with COVID, it’s been hard not being able to perform as much.”

Emily Taylor, a sophomore social work major and talent show participant, expresses herself through choir music. However, this year choir is no longer happening, leaving her with no outlet for creative fulfillment.

Creativity can aid with confidence building of individuals. Riehle said after he started to learn magic, it has helped bring out his extroverted side and improve his people skills. He now feels more confident in conversations and reaching out to others he has never met. 

“Creativity means a lot to me… it’s almost like a language and an art, a way to express something to other people, he said. “So, I think creativity and doing things that you love opens up new things in you that you may not even known you had.”

For others, creativity is a way to think outside the box. Zikrajsek said creativity is about being original and and outlet for self-expression.

Upon hearing about the Talent Show, Riehle was glad to jump on the opportunity and make people laugh by his magic again. Zikrajsek—despite her busy schedule—made time to be at the event.

As the world warms up and the vaccine begins being widely distributed, more events are on the horizon. According to Kowalski, Coffee House is reimplementing open mic night staring April 9th and onto the next school year.

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