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Transformations – Cascade Campus theater production

[MUSIC PLAYING] Oftentimes you go to the theater,
and you’re in your chair, and you don’t have
that much interaction. So, we wanted to engage the
audience in a very different way. This class gave us the room to
really explore what theater can be. We created our own script, our
own stage props, everything. You’re going to get
six runs of the show. This was everybody’s first
time doing something like this, I’m pretty sure. So, it was interesting
to see everybody evolve. It’s a experience of actually
putting on a performance. There’s just havoc. There’s creative inspiration. I’ll do anything in my
power to please you. The Apocalypse religions–
they have it all wrong. Wrong, wrong, kicking the gong. The play was written
by a few students. It was largely a
collaborative process. We started just with a whiteboard,
just writing down ideas. A lot of our ideas gravitated
towards social reform, anti-capitalism, society. The primary theme that we’ve settled
with was confinement and freedom. We decided that the major thing
was the restriction of freedom. So, the idea of being chained. From the brainstorming
we went to work shopping, a lot of movement based work. So, early on we can just explored
simple of restriction and freedom. And the students did some
movement on the grid, so using some elements
of viewpoints. And then from that, we
developed a choreographed piece exploring this idea of freedom,
assimilation, restriction. So, thinking about,
how can we really heighten this moment, physically? We didn’t have to concern ourselves
with a linear narrative, which freed all of the
writers from feeling like they needed to have
a beginning, middle, and end and that idea. So, it became a series of episodes. A series of episodes that might deal
with interpersonal relationships, romance, it could deal with
the economic struggles. Well, the first scene
in the play I was in. And it started with me in a chair
with my back to the audience. I was playing a director. It was basically an audition. And it kind of
incorporated the concept of how much either citizens,
actors, students, anybody would do for that person in power. You guys are really–
think of you as like a wall that’s moving forward
together and putting pressure on him to pick you. So you stay together even though
you’re in conflict with each other. Competing right? I’m athletic. I’m attractive. And most importantly, a
skilled, willing individual. So, just wait. Pause. So, come and really just
get right behind her, so that the three
of you are a force. So, wherever you are,
stand your ground. And come and be with her. You can screw it as tight
or as loose as you’d like. We need to move these
[INAUDIBLE] over here, and get that piece built.
Hopefully Peter’s doing that. There’s a little bit– We are putting the set together. That’s what we’re doing. And we’re going to transform
this room into our beautiful. It’s going to happen
in the next two hours. Do you see all this empty space? In two hours, just two hours,
it will be filled up to the brim with beautiful art slash
drapes and other stuff. We used curtains, and we use we
created, basically, a pentagon. And every side was a different
curtain with a different stage. The audience would be in the center. The set was designed to
make the audience feel a little bit claustrophobic. We had a bunch of curtains. And we had these copper
rods, shower poles, and to we hung them
up on the ceiling, and we attached all of our curtains. Here, I’ll put that
around over here. He’s just a total ham. It needs to go that way? [INAUDIBLE] [MUSIC PLAYING] I don’t know, is there a right end? Hi, camera. Right now we are in our
final week of set production because everything’s going
to come up later this week. So, we’re cramming our dress
rehearsals in, building our set. This is where five
six is the computer. Today is show day. We are doing a run through. It all looks way better
than I thought it would. It’ll be interesting to see
how the actors work with it now since it’s the first
time that they’re going to be really moving through it. So, I feel like we maybe we have
a few kinks to work out still. [INTERPOSING VOICES] So, in the opening, all of the
performers come out single file. And we surround the more or
less circular audience space. And we’re all looking inward. And we look at each other, but
we also look at the audience. And we’re all in handcuffs. At a certain point in the
piece, the curtains would open, and here’s one show. And the curtain would close, and the
audience would have to turn around. We have a night scene with
stars in the background. We also have a gallery
scene, which is a art gallery slash media presentation. And then there’s the domestic space. The living room where
we did the sitcom scene. We also did a living room
scene between two characters. And then there is the grid
space, which is the most plain, which is really just
the cement floor. And then we have– before the
end, dispersed throughout, we have JD who was the wanderer
is the nicknamed we gave to him. And he is just this lone figure. The play ended with a door
being opened– an entire garage door being opened– and
there was sod on the ground and a couple of trees. So, the audience saw
a clear path exit and a nice bushy sense of Eden. It’s so wonderful to use the
architecture in the space. There’s the giant garage door that
opens and lets in all this light. And you see these fruit trees. And actors say, come on, let’s go. And the audience gets to walk
through that space and enter and then just hang out
with the performers. The show went great. Large turnout. We were surprised to see
that many people in there. Yeah, just having a
really good time out here. I feel very happy. It’s really not scary doing it with
the audience for the first time. It actually helps their energy. It helps you the performance, and
all the reactions, it’s like fuel. Experimental theater is important
because it engages the audience in a really different way. And it engages the creator
in a different way. What I got out of it was
really seeing a theater piece unfold and just come into being. And just executing that, completing
that was really gratifying. You really have a hard time
finding an experience like this anywhere else where
you can literally start with nothing– start
with absolutely nothing– and make something huge out of it. It gets you to break out of a box. I think it’s important that we keep
doing this, at least once a year, and have more courses like
this that really bring in the talents of students and
give them a practical way to apply what they’re doing here at school. Theater can evolve, it
can breathe, it can be something more every single time. I think that’s the most
amazing part of theater. There’s more room
for your imagination. And there’s more room to say the
yes, that anything is possible.

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