Images from Synecdoche, performed by the students of Com 485/PJ 495, Performing Changes. Walker’s Pub, Dec. 5, 2012. The piece–an entirely original script collaboratively created by the cast–explored the intersections of personal narrative, community, identity and the common good. Texts ranged from the poetic to the playful, and all were supported by scored physical movement and imagery. Without a set, in the friendly quarters of the Pub, students managed to grip an audience of around 50 with their stories and a well-rehearsed series of vignettes, told with courage, heart and conviction.
The fall, 2012 class explored issues, approaches, ethics and practices of devised and community-based theatre throughout the semester, then writing, developing and rehearsing their own piece. Audiences were moved (“Powerful,” “Relevant,” and “Gave us a lot to think about” were some of their post-show comments). One person asked, “Is this a kind of theatre that’s done elsewhere?” Yes- it’s an established form, one that has been around for decades, developed in the community-based, experimental theatre and dance/movement communties from Australia to Great Britain, and from Brazil to Canada. Another observed, “It brought everything together- our personal lives, the issues we care about, and the ways we are all connected.”