Hagerstown Community College's 'An Evening of the Arts' showcases student talent

April 28, 2011|By DAVE McMILLION |
  • Hagerstown Community College student John Little of Sharpsburg is a participant in the poetry reading contest Thursday during "An Evening of the Arts" event at the HCC student center.
By Colleen McGrath, Staff Photographer

Kayla Monroe had the crowd going Thursday night during "An Evening of the Arts" at Hagerstown Community College.

The event was held to showcase student artwork such as painting, ceramics, sculpture and photography, but Monroe stole the show with a stand-up comedy routine during a "poetry slam" in the school's student center.

After her routine, Monroe said she was studying biology at HCC but has now decided to devote her life to comedy.

Monroe said she was inspired to try comedy after watching her brother, Corey Monroe, perform comedy routines in venues like the Improv and The Comedy Store.

"If my mom could see me now," Kayla said to a crowd of about 100 people. "I have finally made it to the HCC Hilltop Grill!"

"HCC, stay close, go ... hang yourself," said Monroe, drawing a burst of laughter and applause from spectators.

One of the school's slogans is Stay Close, Go Far.

Monroe said she plans to go to New York soon to pursue her dream of being a comedian. Monroe said she will start doing  routines at open mic venues and hopefully land some dates in comedy clubs.

The crowd was also charged up by a routine from student Derek Orndorff, who recited his "What I Don't Like About America" in the poetry slam.

Orndorff, of Smithsburg, attacked everything from Crocs shoes to MTV.

Orndorff pleaded with students to get rid of their Crocs, saying they look like a "pair of Barbie's Reeboks."

"I really don't understand those things at all," Orndorff joked.

He said the MTV television channel used to be about music, as he blasted it for gravitating toward reality shows focusing on issues like 16-year-old girls getting pregnant.

HCC hosts a student art show every year, said Joan Bontempo, an assistant professor and coordinator of the school's art department.

This year, the event was tied to the school's English club, which was involved in the poetry slam, Bontempo said.

The show is typically held in the Kepler Theater lobby, but since that building is undergoing renovation and expansion, the event was held in the student center, Bontempo said.

Bontempo said 328 works of art were shown in a digital slideshow during Thursday's event. Raffles and food and drinks were also offered.

HCC offers an associate of art program, in which students can concentrate on visual arts or art education, Bontempo said.

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