WSW: An Intimidating Form Of Theater To "Start A Dialogue"

Feb 20, 2019

Credit WMUK

Kalamazoo College visiting faculty member and guest artist Bianca Washington says the play Student Body has caused her to recall some experiences from her past, and she says it may do the same for the audience. Washington is directing the play, which examines how 10 college students react to the discovery of a video that includes evidence of a sexual assault. It will be staged at the Festival Playhouse of Kalamazoo College Thursday February 21st through Sunday February 24th. 

The play written by Frank Winters, takes place in one long scene. K-College freshman Grace Erway, who plays Liz, says with little off-stage time the actors have to be engaged. Psychology Major Jared Pittman, who plays Malcom, says the audience will also have be on their toes. He says the interactive nature of the play means the audience is trying to figure out what to do along with the characters.

Washington says “We all get to sit with each other in silence, we get to sit with each other in contemplation, and in shock, in awe, in laughter, in questioning.” Washington says some things won’t be traditional for the theater. She says the lighting is designed to make the audience to feel like “we’re one of the students coming into the situation.”

WestSouthwest Brief on Festival Playhouse production of Student Body

Erway calls it an "intimidating form of theater," but she says “that’s how we start the dialogue of what we want in our future, and what is acceptable on college campuses.” Pittman says the play draws the audience in, “Just as much as we can’t escape the situation on stage, the audience won’t be able to escape the situation either.”