Sunday, December 4, 2022

Community conversation: W&M Theatre production opts to have live Q&As following actor’s resignation

Hundreds rallied at the Williamsburg campus of Thomas Nelson Community College to protest racism and police violence Friday, June 5, 2020. (WYDaily/Courtesy of Joseph Miller)
Hundreds rallied at the Williamsburg campus of Thomas Nelson Community College to protest racism and police violence Friday, June 5, 2020. (WYDaily/Courtesy of Joseph Miller)

Theatre goers can experience something different: A chance to ask the actors questions live during a performance.

Different, indeed. And, it’s free.

William & Mary’s Department of Theatre, Speech and Dance have decided to change their “Hands Up: 7 Playwrights, 7 Testaments” to “Hands Up: The Conversation.”

The new virtual performance will change from a scripted show to live theatre, letting audience members interact with the cast members.

“Collectively, the adjustment was inspired by the resignation of an actor and a deeper consideration of the implications of staging this work in a time of dual pandemics,” Omiyemi Artisia Green, the director, said in a prepared statement.

In addition, the audience will be able to see the original performance and chat with the entire cast and crew, who will respond to scripted pieces’ “provocations.”

In a Facebook post, Green noted the decision to change the format came from internal conflicts.

“For me, there was a revaluation of my artistic mission and the type of work I wanted to do in this moment,” according to the Facebook post. “And ‘Hands Up,’ while a necessary discussion and opportunity for Black student actors, no longer fit the profile of my creative mission.”

“This, my conundrum became, you can direct this show and create an opportunity for two studious Black actors who want to work with you, but it will be at the expense of your spirit,” she added. “Is it worth it if the work isn’t renewing, redeeming, or emboldening you?”

You can see the full statement below:

Just as important as our cast Spotlight Bios, for this show, the directors are just as important. Professor Omiyẹmi…

Posted by William & Mary Theatre and Dance on Thursday, October 22, 2020

 

“Hands Up: The Conversation” is via Zoom live on Thursday, Oct. 29 at 7:30 p.m. The performance is free and open to the public.

Can’t make the performance? You can view the event’s recording from Oct. 30 through Nov. 1.

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Julia Marsigliano
Julia Marsiglianohttp://wydaily.com
Julia Marsigliano is a multimedia reporter for WYDaily. She covers everything on the Peninsula from local government and law enforcement agencies to family-run businesses and weather updates. Before WYDaily, she covered Hampton and Newport News for WYDaily’s sister publication, HNNDaily before both publications merged in December 2018. Julia was born in Tokyo, Japan and moved to Long Island, New York in 2001. A true New Yorker, she loves pizza, bagels and good Chinese food. Send comments, tips and other tidbits to julia@localvoicemedia.com. You can follow her on Twitter at @jmarsigliano

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