A Hollins Theatre Institute Devised Work
Directed by Rachel Nelson
At Hollins, we have three semesters; Fall Term, J-Term, and Spring Term. During J-Term, or January Term, students take one class, complete an internship, or work on an independent study. My first year of college, I decided to take the theatre department class which that year focused on Devised Theatre. I was also working on two other shows for the Mill Mountain & Hollins Playwright's Lab's Winter Festival of New Works so I was always working that semester. In the class, we worked with Hollins alumnae, Rachel Nelson, to create a theatrical piece that discussed identity and social justice at Hollins. Most of my classmates were actors, but we were encouraged to contribute our own talents regardless of what form they came in. So I became the Projections Designer/Engineer & Sound Designer/Engineer. The show took place in three stages; the Green Room, the Main Stage, and the Upstairs Studio Black Box. The Main Stage performance featured a series of poems and songs amongst a forest scenery. I created an abstract soundscape based on the words and feeling of the actors' pieces. This soundscape changed every performance since the show changed based on how the audience interacted with the pieces. In the Upstairs Studio, we created a gallery of video surfaces that played videos of the cast and crew discussing their identities. I recorded, edited, and programmed all of the videos. It's helpful as a designer to look back on my first shows to see how much progress I've made in such a short amount of time.