I spent six days with some of the most talented people on the planet in Americus, Georgia at the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival. I vlogged every day I was there so I won’t go into each specific day, but I will go into the shows I saw and the most important things I learned.
Show 1: Ubu Rex: This play was an absurdist take on the play Ubu Roi. I was allowed to sit on the stage during this performance with my friends. I wasn’t necessarily a fan of the script, but the cast had an unmistakable energy throughout the entire show (and it wasn’t a short show) that was absolutely enviable.
Show 2: She Made Space: So, this was a one woman show that was under unusual circumstances. The writer based the show around her life. The lead actress got strep. Because of this, we, as an audience, got to see a rarity. The author basically tell her life story in the format of the one woman show we were watching. It was beautiful, but more than that, it had a permanent impact on how I am going to tell my life story from here on out.
Show 3: An Octoroon: I will not summarize this show. Nothing I say about this show will do it justice. Go see it if you can. If you can’t see it, then go read it. It impacted me profoundly. It surpassed my former favorite play. It was extraordinary. Go out and read Branden Jacob-Jenkins’ An Octoroon as soon as you can.
Show 4: Woyzeck: MTSU did a production of this show a few semesters before I got here. I did not see it, but I heard…interesting things about it. I have the full script in one of my textbooks and the one thing that this production did drive me to do is to read it. It was also a beautiful production, costumes wise.
Show 5: Cold: I heard so much about this show beforehand from my friends and it is still impacting me. A same sex couple has to choose what happens to their dying daughter. A powerful story indeed. Do I agree with all of the choices made for the production, but I will admit this. I am still thinking about it. It is a divisive piece of art, because i simply still don’t know if I like it or not yet.
Things I learned ranged between realizing my limits with social interactions and that telling the story is more important than hitting the notes.
The most important part of the trip, for me, was spending literally days with people who want the same future as me. And it was not an atmosphere of competition, but one of admiration and pride. Working together can lead any group to success. I know it will be the case for the people that I have spent time with.