The theater department is embracing the challenges of the past few months by allowing students to share their work and the work of others through performance.
The performance, “One Community Many Voices,” will feature work made during or reflecting on the challenges that came with the year 2020.
Director of Theater Mark Manette said, “The idea came from everything that has been happening in the world and in this country this year. Newman’s theme for the year is One Community Many Voices Transforming Society, so I decided to make a play with the students and call it ‘One Community Many Voices’ and team up with Student Life.”
Students Matthew Clark and Austin Schwartz are helping manage the project as creative collaborators. Though they will not be performing, they will provide creative input on the content students wish to perform.
Clark and Schwartz receive fresh work from other students, review it and suggest edits.
“Ideally, this show should safely and comfortably explore themes of the status quo in a manner that opens a dialogue to discuss political and social matters, while showing that in our many voices, we are one,” Clark said.
Many theater students will be taking on the works of others for this project. Those who are willing to perform are welcome and those not so eager to be on stage are able to hand off their piece to a willing student.
“Telling another person’s story is a beautiful way of orally perpetuating one’s legacy,” said Clark. “Though this is theatrical prose, not poetry, the concept of giving life to another’s story is very akin to the notion of an epic; the performer sings the song of their fellow human.”
Manette is excited to see the performance come to fruition.
“I am most excited that we are creating something timely and brand new and the students are helping to create it,” he said.
Clark is looking forward to the performance as well. He said, “This creative collaboration theater project is a newly tailored, unique performance experience. I believe it will raise important questions while simultaneously entertaining the masses. In a time of desolation and isolation, it is the arts that bring us together. Out of many, we are one.”
The live event will take place at 8 p.m., Oct. 2-3 in the De Mattias Performance Hall. The Sloppy Joes will perform their first shows of the season starting at 7 p.m. both nights.
The event will be open to the public but physical distancing guidelines will be followed. Masks are required on campus.
There will be a suggested donation box for admittance.