When I first meet Ioana Luchian in one of Deerfield’s rehearsal halls, she is busy preparing the stage for an open mic event hosted by the UTM Musical Theatre Club.

Luchian—a third-year student completing a double major in math and drama and a minor in English—is president of the newly formed club.

“We didn’t have musical theatre at the school, and I love musical theatre in the way it combines drama, dancing, singing, and lots of arts,” Luchian explains when asked about the origins of the club.

Yet it would be wrong to assume that the club is indistinct from the Drama Club.

“It’s a totally different art form,” she continues. She clarifies that the MTC incorporates music and dance into their performances, and therefore varies the structure of their meetings.

As show time nears, I take my seat in the audience, and it isn’t long before the conversations around me fade. Bianca Carvalho, social representative of the Management Committee of UTMMTC and MC for the evening, takes the stage to signal the start of the event.

Carvalho introduces Jillian Segovia, who performs a vocal cover of the mashup “Check Yes Juliet” by We the Kings and “It’s Time” by Imagine Dragons.

At first, Segovia’s performance is marked by minor technical difficulties when her music is unable to play. After a few minutes of tampering with the computer, Segovia’s music carries through and when she opens her mouth to sing, she fills the room with her clear and tuneful voice. Her enthusiastic performance, emphasized  the emotion audible in her voice, inviting the audience to clap along right through to the end of her act.

Luchian’s acrobatic act follows next. She begins by carrying two wooden blocks with her to the stage. What follows is a jaw-dropping display of flexibility, power, and grace as she performs handstand after handstand, along with splits and a series of contortions of the body—some of these tricks are performed while balancing on the blocks. At one point during the act, she lies face down on the ground and twists her lower body over her neck so her legs dangle over her head. Only when she successfully unwinds herself into a recognizably normal shape do I realize that I was biting the back of my hand in a mixture of awe and anxiety.

Other notable performances include Jacob Lively’s rendition of two original songs and a cover of Bon Iver on the guitar accompanied by the piano. Also memorable is the hilarious singing duo consisting of Hannah Gilbert and Nadia Ozzorluoglu, who perform a satirical duet entitled, “The Internet Is for Porn”.

For Carvalho, a third-year student, the reason for joining the club was simple. “I’m an English major who loves drama, so I decided to join the club,” she says.

Currently, the club is working on an ambitious spring musical: “Guys and Dolls”. More information about the production can be found on their website.