Springfield, Ohio – All first-year students at Wittenberg University are required to take courses known as WittSems, which serve as an introduction to core matters of academic inquiry. Students studying in a WittSem class Theatre of Reality have had the unique opportunity to prepare a one-hour documentary play titled “About Relationships,” which they will present at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 7, in Chakeres Memorial Theatre. The production is free and open to the public.
“The show was created from interviews my students conducted on and near campus this fall,” explained Professor of Theatre and Dance Steve Reynolds. “All words spoken in the show will be exactly as spoken to my students during the interviews. The show will cover expectations, good and bad stories, and what each interviewee learned about their relationships with parents, siblings, friends and significant others after entering college.”
Class of 2014 actors include Tyson Agler from Napoleon, Ohio; Emily Altmeyer from Fort Wayne, Ind.; Moriah Cunning from Toledo, Ohio; John deBruycker from New Canaan, Conn.; Jenna Gentner from Rocky River, Ohio; Aaron Glen from Chicago, Ill.; Sage Hazarika from Brooklyn, N.Y.; Nicole Mangas from Sylvania, Ohio; Danielle O’Neill from Canal Winchester, Ohio; Cody Smith from Kettering, Ohio; Adrienne Stout from Owatonna, Minn.; Catherine Stuard from Cincinnati, Ohio; Francesca Stygar from Norton, Ohio; Robert Thrall from Strongsville, Ohio; Courtney Tolber-Sutton from Columbus, Ohio; and Anne Wells from Copley, Ohio.
Working behind the scenes are Jordan Brandon from Ithaca, N.Y., sound board operator; Cady Gannon from Union, Ohio, stage manager; Chaddric Phillips from South Charleston, Ohio, projections; and JaVanh Sanders from Las Vegas, Nev., light board operator.
“We will have a narrator briefly mention the person’s name and age and then one of the student actors from the class will play that person,” Reynolds said. “The comments or exact quotes will flow one after another in each section of expectations.”
WittSem courses emphasize seminar-style learning, which gives students a chance to explore an intellectual topic in detail and from different perspectives, practicing close reading, problem-solving and critical-thinking skills. The topics of the WittSems vary widely, but they share common goals of helping students become intellectually and personally engaged in academic inquiry and understand the relation between the world of learning and their own lives.
Written By: Phyllis Eberts