IUP Theater Opens 40th Anniversary Season with Special Collaborative Creation

Posted on 10/3/2018 7:40:46 PM

Indiana University of Pennsylvania’s Department of Theater and Dance opens its anniversary season with a special collaborative creation, Fabric of the Nation, directed by Richard Kemp and with dramaturgy from Rachel DeSoto-Jackson. Performances will run October 12–13 and 17–20 at an earlier curtain time of 7:30 p.m. and on October 14 at 2:00 p.m on the Waller Hall Mainstage on the IUP campus.

Actors in "Fabric of the Nation"Fabric of the Nation interweaves the life stories of 11 young people from our region. The show has been created by these people themselves, presenting incidents from their lives as snapshots in a kaleidoscope of experience. Each actor is the protagonist in their own life story and also plays multiple characters in other stories. The performance as a whole provides insight into the experiences of some of the diverse communities that collectively make up the fabric of our nation. 

On the special strengths and challenges of the young performers, Kemp shared, “I anticipate that audiences may well be surprised at the severity of the challenges that many young people are facing today, but also heartened by the resilience that they display in overcoming adversity—and creating art out of their experiences.” 

Fabric of the Nation has been created through a process known as “Devising” in which performers, designers, director, and dramaturgs collaborate to create dramatic material. Also known as collaborative creation or ensemble theater, devised theater is now used in many contexts, such as community theater, regional theater, training programs, and even the most commercial of mainstream projects—for example, the international hit Warhorse.

Audience members will witness close-up the power of theater to transform people and space, as actors move seamlessly from one character to another and create multiple locations on the same stage. The company has evolved an innovative style that incorporates image, sound, poetry, and movement as well as naturalistic dialogue to perform their responses to the question “What does it mean to belong?”

Kemp offered further insight into the meaning and metaphor of this production: “We’ve linked the metaphor of ‘fabric of the nation’ with personal experience. Each of us is the protagonist of our own life story. These stories are threads of experience that interweave with others to make up communities, the ‘fabric’ in the metaphor.”

Tickets for this event are available for purchase online through the Lively Arts website or by calling the ticket hotline at 724-357-1313. They can also be purchased at the Performing Arts Center Ticket Office in Fisher Auditorium. Any seats remaining will be sold at the door starting one hour prior to the performance. Tickets are priced at $15 for regular admission, $12 for seniors and groups, and $10 for students and children. Online tickets are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The ticket hotline and ticket office in Fisher Auditorium are open from noon to 5:00 p.m. weekdays. The ticket office is closed for university holidays. Tickets are no longer available at the Hadley Union Building. For more information on this and other events as well as group tickets within the Lively Arts, call 724-357-2787 (ARTS) or e-mail lively-arts@iup.edu.

Theater-by-the-Grove is produced by the Department of Theater and Dance and the College of Fine Arts. It is funded, in part, by the IUP Student Cooperative Association. The Lively Arts, a program of the College of Fine Arts, presents nearly 200 performances, programs, and exhibits annually.