This year California Lutheran University is participating in The Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival with its Devised Theater Project.
Referred to as The Devised Works Project at Cal Lutheran, this project features student made pieces based off the prompt “never met a stranger” said Ken Gardner, chairman of the theater and dance department.
An adjudicator is coming out to watch some of the pieces and will judge them for the American College Theater Festival. If a piece is selected it will go on to the festival along with other pieces from schools in our region in February Gardner said.
This project will feature works from students in theatre, dance, film, multimedia and music said Barbara Wegher-Thompson, senior adjunct professor of the theater and dance departments.
“This is a collaborative piece of art, the source isn’t written text. It’s something the students envisioned on their own and made true to themselves,” Wegher-Thompson said.
Although not all students from each department will be able to participate, there will be at least 40 students participating in these projects that span over a period of four days, Gardner said.
“The whole point of this project is to encourage student work. We wanted it to be open to more than just the theatre department,” Gardner said.
K’Yanna Wesley is a junior at Cal Lutheran and she is performing in two pieces titled “Impact” and “Trailing Memory” in the Devised Works Project. In both of these pieces, Wesley will be dancing along side her project members.
“I love the project. Both of the choreographers in the pieces I’m in are amazing and everyone has put in so much work but every second of hard work will be worth it when we finally get to perform,” Wesley said.
Wesley said that she, along with her fellow cast members have been working hard to prepare for the Devised Works Project and said that their main goal is to leave the audience in awe.
“With the new dance minor it’s the perfect time to show our passion and love for dance and this project is a great way for students in all the different arts to showcase their abilities and passion for what they do,” Wesley said.
This is the first year that Cal Lutheran is participating in this project, but both Gardner and Wegher-Thompson said that they hope to continue it in the future because it’s a good way to promote student work.
“This is a new venture for the department. I look forward to seeing all the different interpretations of the prompt,” Wegher-Thompson said.
Wegher-Thompson said that the Devised Works Project is a great way to help students in all of the different arts showcase their abilities and also come together to demonstrate to one another how they interpreted and created a project in their own ways.
“This is a first time experimental project. I just hope everyone comes out and has a good time and helps support their fellow classmates” Gardner said.
The performances will begin on Oct. 19 and conclude on Oct. 22.
The projects will be performed at the Black Box Theater and will begin at 8 p.m. on the Oct. 19, 20 and 21. There will also be a 2 p.m. matinee on Oct. 22. Admission is free.