Two Theater Majors prepare to present their final productions to the College
Next Friday and Saturday, two of Wooster’s theater majors, Annie Woller and Jasmine Vereen, will present their Senior I.S. productions. These performances are open to the public, but tickets must be reserved ahead of time in the Freedlander box office. Each of the seniors has been working hard all year to make their vision a reality. Theater majors have many choices regarding their Independent Study research. Seniors can do scenes, stage-manage, playwriting, costume or set design, but these two have chosen a devised performance, where you manage your own show. I spoke with Woller and Vereen to find out more about what this experience meant to them.
Woller, a theater/dance major film studies minor, utilized all aspects of her studies. For her production she created a short film that exposes the movements of dance and the effects the camera can have on the motion perceived by an audience. Woller, and all other theater majors, have to propose I.S. topics at the end of their Junior I.S. semester.
Woller says that this I.S. opportunity gave her, “full control to experience what I could do. So I want to explore how me, as an editor, as a dancer and as a choreographer collaborate on one project.” Woller’s film shows how dance interacts with themes of time, space and energy. She wants to look at how the camera changes the audience’s perception of a dance. Woller says the camera almost acts as another dancer collaborating in the piece. Woller adds, “you can have a static camera or a moving camera, but both affect the motion being seen, because it controls your eye, and forces you to notice the manipulations of time, space and energy.”
Vereen, a theater/dance major, has created a show exposing the black female body and how people have reacted to it throughout history and today.
She explains that, “we learn how to act in this world based on how people who look like us have acted before us. You see me take on the bodies of black women who came before me, but also placing these bodies in a modern context.” Vereen says that she began with this small idea, and throughout the year it has “grown bigger and bigger and bigger.” Vereen has named her full-length piece “Gallery of a Colored Girl,” and has cast eight additional students for her performance. In her I.S. Vereen explores the connotations and stereotypes of the black female body, and how these associations have affected the way women have lived their life and how they perceive themselves. Vereen particularly pays attention to the silence of the black female experience, and incorporates statues in performance. Her piece also explores issues of invisibility versus hyperinvisibility. “You can be invisible in society where no one understands your problems, but when you become a problem everyone can see you.”
Both Vereen and Woller were responsible for their own advertising and production of their pieces, which will be in Schoolroy Theater at 8:15 p.m. on February 8 and 9. Woller says that, “We’ve worked hard, and it’ll be fun,” and Vereen asks for students to come, “see something that’s different. See something that’s daring. We are doing works that are testing the world.”