Theatre Council gives voice to the ‘Silent’
By giving voices to those who have experienced sexual assault, abuse and teen pregnancy, Speaking for the Silent – the Theatre Council’s latest project – speaks volumes.
As a series of monologues, spoken poetry, dance and song, this production brings insight and perspective to various issues that young people have to deal with. This performance has been created and put together by students, with original works being performed dramatically by student actors. Each individual act, much like each experience being expressed, is powerful, but different; some monologues or readings are spoken with musical accompaniment such as guitar, flute or piano, while others stand alone. One act incorporates an interpretive dance alongside a poetry monologue.
“Our goal isn’t to bore people like a high school health class,” director Nicole Lippey said. “We want the audience to feel inspired and connect with the performers.”
As a performer in the production, Lippey, a junior, wanted to do something serious that dealt with relevant issues.
Initially, “Speaking for the Silent” was going to focus solely on sexual abuse. But as Lippey combined her efforts with junior Alyssa Gianetti, the concept expanded to include issues such as depression and physical and child abuse. The duo wanted to reach out to young people and let them know that they are not merely a statistic.
Gianetti, also the assistant director, is a birthmother and performs her own written piece about her son. The term birthmother is used in adoption, signifying that though she is the one who birthed her child, she is not the one who raises him. Gianetti said she feels very lucky for the fact that her cousin and his wife adopted her son, and is able to have a very open adoption.
“It’s been very hard, but it’s been fun,” Gianetti said on performing her piece and on the production’s progression. “It’s interesting for me, because I’ve never really acted in or directed anything before.”
Rehearsals, contrary to the weighty topics at hand, are low-key and include a fair share of joking and laughter in between run-throughs. But during a performance, the atmosphere becomes quiet and respectful – a serious artistic platform. There is a lot of communication between the actors, creating a very smooth and seamless product. For some, this is their first time acting for a cause and they are enjoying the process of making it meaningful.
“Life is something we cannot control. We can only react,” Lippey said. “We can’t change the past, but we can change the future. We all have the power to help one another, even if it’s just by listening.”
Speaking for the Silent will be performed Friday in the Theatre-in-the-Round at 8 p.m. Admission is free. Additionally, those registered for the Women’s Conference can catch an advance show at 1 p.m.
Chelsea Catlett can be reached at email@example.com.