Creating Theatre: Historical Women's Stories for Here and Now
Ferree, Abby M.
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One of the most instinctual ideals of humanity is the necessity of sharing stories, past or fiction, to inform what we decide to do in the here and now. Storytelling is a part of all of us. It’s innate. As an actor, my role in storytelling is generally to be the sounding piece for the voices of others. I bring to life the story and the life of another person or character in order to bring new questions to light for my audience. However, as an actor, we rarely get to choose what stories are being told, and the gift of telling a story is only granted after a long, competitive audition process. As an artist, it is crucial to know how to produce your own work. I want to explore this process through this project with my colleague, Halle Hoffman. We will be producing When We Were Young and Unafraid by Sarah Treem at the DeKalb Area Women’s Center, as well as acting in the show. This process will be a culmination of everything that we have learned about acting and the production of art during our time here at Northern Illinois University. This will also be an important opportunity for us to understand how to tell a story that we believe needs to be heard right now. Sarah Treem’s When We Were Young and Unafraid explores themes of domestic violence, gender dynamics, self-discovery, and generational differences. While set in the seventies, the story chronicles issues that are still prominent in today’s society. We believe that this play can provide healing and understanding for an audience. Because of the era separation from today’s society, the story is less “on the nose” about the issues at hand, allowing an audience the space to be affected by the play without the story being too close to their own stories. This is our goal with the performance of this show, as we take on this story through the lens of the actor and the lens of the producer/director.