Struggles with The Michael Brown Project

By Raquel Rivas (Senior) 

Senn Arts Theater students will perform The Michael Brown Project, a production based on the interviews conducted by students this week in Senn Hall.

The company has worked hard to keep up with the evolving current events in the United States. The Baltimore protests and riots have made the script seem “outdated” and missing some key components. Joel Ewing, teacher of the ensemble and lead director of the play, has taken on the challenge of incorporating the current events into the final project with the ensemble.

Ewing hopes an event such as the Baltimore Riots doesn’t happen again due to the writing process of the play along with there being peace and harmony throughout the world.  “My sincere hope is that something doesn’t happen. Not only for the sake of our play, obviously, but the sake of humanity and the world, “ said Ewing.

The Michael Brown Poster (Photo: Joel Ewing)
The Michael Brown Project Poster (Photo: Joel Ewing)

The play was created by the whole class. The teacher, along with every student, became every role of the creating process. “I struggle a lot as an individual as what I can do to help,” said Ewing 

Karla Nunez is one of the students working on the project. Nunez says creating theatre is nothing new in this class. Although, she points out how the seriousness of the topic effects the approach of creating the play. “We just want to be able to represent those that aren’t represented,” said Nunez. “Some people are just so sensitive now a days as to what they hear.”

However, Nunez is not the only ensemble member worried about the outcome. 

Joseph Vargas is afraid of breaking the safety net that is the stage. “The response of the audience is the most troubling part,” said Vargas. He doesn’t want the audience to feel uncomfortable because of the contents of the play.

Other members feel that this isn’t a controversial topic and should be discussed.

Ricardo Cifuentes is very vocal about the topics in the play. Cifuentes says, “I feel like at the end of the day, we’re old enough to grasp those concepts and it’s something that should be shown to everyone.”

With current events affecting the direction of the piece, it has proven difficult to bring the writing process to an end. “I would just never end this play. I would just keep bringing it to life because obviously our news medias are not doing a great job of doing it enough,” said Nunez. “There is no unbiasedness and that’s the problem.”

The students are to write, direct, and act in this play modeled after The Laramie Project. This is their final assignment and play on the Senn Hall stage before graduation.

Many students have shown interest in attending The Michael Brown Project. Whether it be to watch a magnificent play, watch a friend, or see the last show of the Senn Arts Senior Theatre class.

Senior Almudena Rincon expressed interest in seeing the show. “I love Senn’s productions. So far they’ve been amazing so I’m very excited to see this one.” said Rincon.

The performance will be on the 10th and 11th of June at 6pm. Tickets will be $10 for adults and $5 for students. The audience will be seated in the house. Be prepared to enter a classroom full of hot discussions and other interesting settings.

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