Sunday, November 13, 2011

DALLAS at The Shipley School

Even the earnest and sincere high-schoolers out in Bryn Mawr couldn't save President Kennedy. But from November 11th - 13th, 2011, they did an excellent job trying.

The wonderful students of The Shipley School, led by teacher and director Emma Gibson, took on the brave challenge of performing the ten-minute "electro-theater" collaboration, DALLAS, and I was totally moved by their work, getting goosebumps during the final theatrical image with which they ended their performance.

The students of The Shipley School (Bryn Mawr, Nov 13, 2011).

The Shipley production made some wonderful additions to my and electronic music composer Mike Vernusky's work-- adding a couple extra patrons in the diner, some mood/world-shifting lighting choices, and some breath-taking video work to bookend the performance. All of these choices expanded the piece even further, all while staying true to their own personal discovery of the play's heart. I was impressed by the quality of their work, and moved by their enthusiasm and commitment to putting up a theatrical piece so unfamiliar to them-- both in form and content-- making their performance achievements, their imaginative and emotional ownership of this piece, that much more remarkable.

I never imagined this piece could be performed (and so well) by high school students, so I thank them all for expanding my imagination in that way as well.

Big thank yous to The Shipley School, Emma Gibson, and to my collaborator Mike Vernusky. Thank yous also to Cody R. Kirk and Michael Kranes (whose voices continue to come through the walls of the diner), and Dianna Schoenborn-Marino, for whom the play was originally written. Thanks also to Wally Zialcita and Theresa Epp, who road-tripped out to Bryn Mawr with me, and Tom Tansey who joined us for pumpkin pie.

Rock on,