Lights, Camera, Action: STEM Arts Night 2024 was a huge success

April 5, 2024, 1:30 p.m. | By Tejusvi Vijay | 3 months, 2 weeks ago

STEM Arts Night 2024 featured a wide array of performances from comedy to dance, showcasing the many talents of Blair’s STEM-focused students

On Friday, March 16, Blair hosted its 35th annual STEM Arts Night (STAN). STAN is Blair’s talent show for STEM students to showcase their non-academic and artistic abilities to the community. This year’s production featured 18 performances split over two acts with a brief kazoo performance (Kazoontermission) in between. In addition to the performances, audience members could enjoy the student-submitted art pieces displayed outside the auditorium.

The show opened with a captivating piano rendition of “Day One” from “Interstellar” by junior Nikhita Bhatt followed by a quick banter between emcees Bhatt and senior Will Klees. The two broke the ice by gauging audience interest, joking about STAN’s purpose, and taking jabs at the different grade levels.

Following the opening act was a dance performance by seniors Alexander Liu, Claudio Lowicki-Zucca, Michael Wang, Evan Wang, and Steven Wang as part of their group “New Johns.” The five chose a hybrid skit-dance performance, lip syncing to a pre-recorded script and breaking into dance every couple minutes. The skit focused on the group’s desire to be the next big boy band and process in picking songs like Jack Harlow’s “First Class,” BTS’s “On,” and K/DA’s “Popstar.” The audience laughed along with the cheesy jokes in the skit and cheered as the group flung off their jackets mid song in true popstar fashion.

The show continued from there with several instrumental acts. Junior Edith Yang and senior Akiva Rosenzweig performed a riveting duet of “Mongolian Horse Racing '' on the erhu, a Chinese two-stringed musical instrument. The two alternated between pizzicato and rapid bow movements to build to a dramatic ending, resulting in thunderous applause by an audience in awe.

The musical talent was not limited to just students. A student and staff group—featuring math teacher Edward Kirk and science teacher Elizabeth Glenn on both vocals and guitar along with instrumental music teacher Raife Oldham on drums—played “Don’t Fear the Reaper” by rock band Blue Öyster Cult. 

And while their performance was great, it was missing something—namely, a cowbell. Within a minute of the performance’s start, physics teacher James Schafer ran onto the stage to stop the group and announce that magnet coordinator Peter Ostrander must aid the performers with his cowbell skills. One note from Ostrander’s cowbell was enough for the audience to erupt in applause, making the already strong performance an audience favorite.

With nearly 30 students, the biggest dance act of the night was Blair Bollywood. The group told the story of star-crossed lovers Rohan and Jahnavi from opposing dance troupes, a unique spin of the classic “Romeo and Juliet.” The flawless choreography and dancers’ unmatched energy from one Bollywood classic to the next blew the audience away.

Junior Yanet Dessale danced with K.O. Crew and Blair Bollywood. Her favorite part of the night was experiencing the audience’s energy while onstage. “I love the energy that the audience gives. It’s just so supportive and [makes it] really exciting to perform,” Dessale says.

The night ended with the Senior Act, a tradition where the senior class reflects on their STEM classes and teachers in a comedic light. This year’s story followed the quest of math teacher William Rose (Dami Kim) and statistics teacher David Stein (Karen Cao) to find Rose’s stolen shapes.

The act continued with a spectacular performance of “I’m Just Stein,” a parody of “I’m Just Ken” from the Barbie movie, and “We're All In This Together” from High School Musical after catching the culprit responsible for stealing the missing shapes.

The Senior Act is a Blair tradition where the senior class reflects on their STEM classes and teachers through comedy and music. Photo courtesy of Beck Rowe.

The accurate portrayal of teachers, from math teacher Jeremy Schwartz’s key bunch to iconic teacher anecdotes, made students in the audience chuckle. Audience members even helped some of the actors finish their lines: when Cao started the statement “if you want to be a teacher,” the audience immediately shouted back “you must take attendance,” paying homage to a frequent saying by Stein.

From the dance troupes to the comedy acts to the audience’s unbounded energy, this year’s show was an experience to remember. As the lights turned back on, audience members left smiling and ready to return for STAN 2025.

Last updated: April 5, 2024, 1:42 p.m.

Tags: STAN

Tejusvi Vijay. Hello! My name is Teju (she/her) and I'm a staff writer. Outside of SCO, I enjoy playing board games, watching Disney movies, and telling puns. More »

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