In the twelfth session of Unrehearsed Futures (Season 2), members of SITI Company, New York, Ellen Lauren (co-artistic director) and J.Ed Araiza (principal actor) shared what the past year has been like for them, the opportunities and possibilities it opened up in theatre and pedagogy and what they reckon they need to do as they move forward.
For Lauren, the medium of Zoom has been revelatory where she found people making an effort to connect with another human being on the other side of the screen. “We’re now into the phase where we’re making a great deal of work. And the tools are all there. The (Zoom) frame is another piece of material. The frame is another way of seeing and exploding the way we can work together. It is a time of great experimentation,” she emphasised.
As the head of graduate acting program at the University of California, Los Angeles, Araiza found that while Zoom made learning accessible, it also made visible the deeper divides between different sections of society in his classes. He uses his training in the Suzuki method and Mary Overlie’s Viewpoints as a way to empower younger artists to tell their own stories. “My job is not to tell artists the stories they should tell, but to try to give them the tools to tell their stories. And that is my primary interest nowadays,” he said during the conversation.
STAY TUNED! We will be publishing a long-form article about the talk and the ideas/themes that emerged during the session on our blog in the coming weeks.
Compiled and written by Phalguni Vittal Rao
Access the entire session on our YouTube channel: