Jammed into Weber Theatre like a monstrous pack of a hundred sardines, the anticipation of Wheaton’s annual gala show run by TRYBE, hosted from Thursday, Feb 20 through Saturday, Feb 22, left the audience stirring in their seats. I was glad that we had arrived early, as there were many people waiting or searching for seats, pacing up and down the aisles in a staccato rhythm. Although I had contracted the dreaded Wheaton Plague earlier that morning, the pent-up adrenaline left me buzzing and ready for the night. Soon, the lights dimmed, and the crowd erupted in loud, cheering enthusiasm. The show was about to start.
This had been my first time attending a TRYBE show, and, if anything, it exceeded my expectations. The passion and dedication exhibited by the group was phenomenal, and was illuminated by the excitement and energy portrayed by the audience. Although it started out a little slow, the more the audience got involved in the performance, the more lively the highlights of the show became. The music was on point and the choreography was impressive; the skill, dedication, and detail-oriented features of planning a dance routine was well represented by the dance ensemble. Not only were TRYBE’s performances spectacular, guest performances by iSpeak, Voice United to Jam (VUJ), S.O.L.E., and the Lymin’ Lyons were all top-notch and great examples that each and every one of the groups and clubs on campus are extremely dedicated and passionate and take pride in what they do. As I hooted and hollered, my sore throat whispered, “no,” but my heart screeched, “YES.” So what is it that fills our chests with a mixture of pride and awe when attending these artistic performances?
I believe that a very large reason as to why the TRYBE Gala is so highly praised and celebrated is the fact that it is performed by Wheaton’s very own students and it brings the community together. There is an undeniable fact that performances given as an art form are different inside a community than outside one, especially on a college campus. The connections on campus are amplified during these performances, adding a more personal aspect to the efforts, talents, and reception of the performers. An energetic and receptive crowd makes for half the fun at shows like this, and can change the whole outcome and environment of the performances. Supporting the massive commitments and hard work of the performers can go a long way in the outcome and success of a show. This isn’t very hard to do, given the amount of talent that is present here at Wheaton.
Ultimately, it is the energy within the room that drives the reception of the show. The passion and adrenaline exhibited by everyone transforms the singularity of an entertainer (or several entertainers) onstage into a universal emotion felt throughout the room, either in what the performer is doing or what the audience is seeing. This creates a resonating and fluid performance, a sure-fire way to bring positivity and success into the community outside the classroom. This is the case regarding artistic productions within the Wheaton community. Performances and gatherings like these may have the most rewarding sense of togetherness in our small community, because “GURL you know there ain’t no bacon in Chase!”