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College’s fall play looks to document community experiences

| Thursday, August 31, 2017

The Tectonic Theatre Project, famous for the “Laramie Project,” will be directing a play at Saint Mary’s to be performed Nov. 9 through Nov. 12.  

Rather than having a single plot throughout the show, there will be multiple stories taken from interviews of students across campus. The interviews, which will tell the stories of Saint Mary’s students, will be modified into scripts to be performed by actors.

At Saint Mary’s, they will be using methods similar to the “Laramie Project” by conducting interviews of students and how they see diversity at Saint Mary’s.

Thespians Unplugged co-presidents Stephanie Johnson, a junior, and Makena Henell, a senior, explained that the project is “collecting stories from alumnae and students of all walks of life” and that the main objective of the production is to explore diversity on campus.

“This is a very artistic show we’re covering, it’s not a show like ‘Romeo and Juliet’ where they are there throughout the play,” Henell said. “So we are going to have a lot of interviews and have an artistic take on them, so come with an open mind.”

Johnson said an objective of the show is to open the eyes and minds of the numerous students on campus, especially freshman.

“I want to see conversations and dialogue started outside the theater, how first years are impacted and see how the project interacts with our school,” said Johnson.

Henell said it is good to accept diversity as an advantage, especially for the freshmen who are adjusting to a new environment.

“I think people are a lot nicer here and I feel like it’s because you have to stay inside during winter,” Henell said. “Though I have heard a lot of stories about girls in the dining hall being nasty to the workers, or a girl who came out as lesbian and who was told to leave. Expectantly, there was an overwhelming response from others that told her “once a Belle, always a Belle.””

Henell said through the stories, there is a hope to bring about a stronger bond between Saint Mary’s students, as the actors will be telling the stories of fellow Belles.

“We want to know how people are represented or aren’t represented.” Henell said. “I want Saint Mary’s to really open their eyes and really understand people around them. I want us as a community to get together and not judge people on their skin color, orientation or economic status. I hope that people are more mindful to another’s situation, to their backgrounds and where they come from. The biggest thing: I want people to see the show and become more open and maybe take something from it.”

Audition times will be in early September. 

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