It was a night full of improv, singing, dancing and poetry as Creighton’s theatre honors fraternity, Alpha Psi Omega, put on its first annual cabaret on Friday night in Creighton’s studio theater.
In the tradition of a cabaret, Creighton students performed various scenes, songs and monologues throughout the evening from a variety of sources. Some of the students wrote material for their own performances.
While a few of the performances of the night offered light-hearted comedy, many of them offered a more serious tone.
This was the case with College of Arts and Sciences senior Makana Yamasaki, who wrote and performed his own slam poem.
Yamasaki’s poem spoke passionately about the negative representation of Asian Americans in the film and television industry. After the evening’s performances, Yamasaki said he felt like slam poetry was a good way to get his message across because it’s relatable.
“My reason for why I wanted to talk about Asian Americans is because I’m an Asian American,” Yamasaki said. “I see the movies like ‘Great Wall’ and ‘The Last Samurai’ and other people think they’re great. I just watch them and I think they kind of suck because they’re making us seem like we need saving.”
Yamasaki’s poem spoke about how the white-savior archetype is perpetuated throughout much of American culture. He also spoke about how there has been a lack of representation of Asian Americans in film and television.
“The thing that’s really sad is that I was doing all this research and I did not even know about a lot of it,” Yamasaki said. “I didn’t know there was an Asian American civil rights movement. I didn’t know there was Asian American violence. I didn’t know all this because it wasn’t etched in the history books.”
Yamasaki wasn’t the only one who used the cabaret as an opportunity to express his feelings and frustrations.
College of Arts and Sciences senior Morgan Dobersek also wrote a poem, which she performed for Friday evening’s cabaret.
Dobersek’s poem, entitled “Crisis,” discussed her dissatisfaction with the current state of the nation. Her poem covered topics such as immigration, climate change, rape culture and much more.
“I think it’s important to be able to be aware that we are in such a crisis,” Dobersek said. “I feel like a lot of times people just say, ‘Oh it’s just the news. I want to turn it off. I don’t want to be political.’ But all of that is affecting us so deeply, and if not us, our friends, our family, our neighbors.”
Dobersek said she wrote the poem because there had been a lot on her mind recently.
“The poem is kind of a call to action, like, ‘Hey, wake up. Look at all these things that are happening in the world that we can fix.’ We’re not alone in that process.”
While Yamasaki and Dobersek each provided some of the weightiest material at the cabaret, they contributed to an entertaining and informative evening of performances.
Alpha Psi Omega president and College of Arts and Sciences junior Vivian Parr said the fraternity wanted to put on a cabaret so they could create more opportunities for theater students to perform.
“Every year one department can only do one show,” Parr said. “This year there is only one musical, ‘Legally Blonde.’ The Cabaret gave students an opportunity to work on their musical performance.”
Additionally, Parr said she hoped to see the tradition of the cabaret continue in the future.
“In the future we want to have themes for the Cabaret, and maybe do a miscast one next year,” Parr said. “We are really happy with the results.”