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The Devised Theatre Initiative showcase

This+years+devised+theatre+initiative+making+silly+faces+together+before+a+performance.
Courtesy of the Shane Center
This year’s devised theatre initiative making silly faces together before a performance.
The participants of this year’s devised theatre initiative during the talk back after Friday nights performance. (Madison Wetzel)

Crunchy or smooth peanut butter? That was one of the controversial topics performed in this year’s Devised Theatre Initiative. This year there were topics from “Why respect is needed” to “Why peanut butter.” All pieces were created by the students with problems that effect these students in their day to day life.

Starting in 2019 with a break in 2020, the Devised Theatre Initiative is back at it again for three performances. On November 17-19, a group of 11 students from Park High school, Sleeping Giant Middle school, and even some homeschoolers performed in the Devised Theatre Initiative at the Shane Center. This group of students got together every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, for seven weeks and worked together to create their own pieces with this year’s theme “Why” in mind.  

This year, there were five returning students, six new students, and two new instructors. These students formed new friendships and put in many hours of work together to create something utterly amazing. All these students learned skills that will hopefully stick with them forever like how to express themselves creatively, how to work with a team, how to be vulnerable in front of others, and how to write and direct different pieces.  

Many students wrote a few different pieces. Sophomore Finn Harrison wrote two pieces on his own and then collaborated with fellow sophomore Justin Stern and eighth grader Riley Denniston. The pieces that the students wrote dealt with “universal topics” such as relationships, change, and discrimination. Although many students wrote many different pieces, they did not always perform their own pieces. Harrison performed the piece that he collaborated on and then he performed in three pieces that someone else wrote. Along with all the writing these students did, they also worked on directing the pieces. 

If you are thinking about Devised Theatre, you should try it. Harrison chose to do Devised Theatre since he “enjoys writing and acting” and “it’s a good combination of the two,” he said. Harrison also encourages others “who are willing or wanting to express themselves through theatre,” to join Devised Theatre next year. This program is completely free and recommended for people anywhere from 6th to 12th grade.

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About the Contributor
My name is Madison Wetzel and I am a senior at Park High. I enjoy photography and performing arts.

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