Get to know us in our Backstage at CCPA blog. Contributors are students, faculty, and members of our community.
Joscelyne Tamburri tells us about her experiences as a Year II student, from the classroom to the stage.
Regular classes for school have come to an end, and it is time for the second years to take an even bigger step out of their shells. This is the week for the annual TD Festival of New Works. This event is an opportunity that the second years had the to option to apply for at the beginning of the year so we could learn how to produce theatre under the skillful guidance of one of our many talented staff and faculty members. It is our chance to grow and expand our horizons as artists who perform onstage, to artists who also can produce what happens on stage.
All the way back in September, the year II students were given mentorship proposal outlines and the choices of physical theater, playwriting, musical theater, directing, choral, choreography, stage management, costume design… a plethora of options which makes it nearly impossible to just choose one. Once we had chosen one, we wrote a proposal with all of our desired mentorships information and sent it off to be reviewed by the staff/faculty that would be guiding us through this process. Then if our proposal got accepted, we met with our new mentors to go over our plan. As a group, the second years then set up a time to audition the year one class (and some of our other peers too) so we could cast them in our projects. We then rehearsed for weeks and weeks, checking in with our mentors along the way, and tried to bring our idea to life in time for the Festival of New Works.
I decided to do a physical theatre piece called “Wear Your Worth,” which meant I was extremely lucky because I got to be under the guidance of Treena Stubel. Creating a physical theatre piece was a bit of a daunting task because it is such a broad facet of theatre, but also was still a bit mysterious to me, so I was worried about not doing it right. Treena never limited my artistic choices. She encouraged me to always find the meaning of the story in every movement, let the body speak for itself and indulge in that freedom. She was amazing with my cast and helped me step by step create the atmosphere and tone I needed for the content of my piece. And with my process, it was all about discovering the movement naturally in the body at that moment. That gave us so much freedom, it was hard not to get carried away with every new, exciting discovery. Because of that, I was always surprised about what we were able to make together in such a short period of time. The piece I had an image of in my head is not what you’re going to find onstage, but the amazing collaboration of seven brains (my cast of five, mine and Treena’s), and it is more amazing than I ever could have created without them.
It is all of our hard work put together, and the end product is something I wouldn’t have been able to create without them.
That is one thing I have learned in this process. My original idea has evolved so many times, but what I have ended up with is something I am even prouder of. There are so many factors and ideas in your head that just can’t always work in real life, but the alternatives you find instead can be incredible. Also, any cast is going to bring something uniquely different with them, and I loved being able to create my piece as a collaboration with my cast. It is all of our hard work put together, and the end product is something I wouldn’t have been able to create without them. They can have an even bigger sense of pride knowing that they made this too, it is just as much their piece as it is mine. I hope they are as proud of it as I am because together, we have created an impactful, socially important piece of theatre that I hope creates the conversations families need to be having right now at home.
“Wear Your Worth” is a piece about what it’s like to be a young girl in high school dealing with depression and anxiety, dealing with relationships and the labels people can put on us. It’s about learning to not lower yourself just to suit other people, we all deserve decency and respect. Even if people label us when can tear those labels away and reclaim our worth. In this time of social media holding our entire worlds, depression, and anxiety – especially in young females – are at an all-time high. The saddest part is that only 30 percent of these teenagers who are dealing with depression and anxiety are getting the treatment they need. That means 70 percent of our struggling youth are not getting the tools they need to heal. Slowly, the taboo about speaking out about mental illness is being chipped away, but it is my hope that this piece inspires conversations that will accelerate the process even more.
I would love to share more about my piece, but I would prefer you come see it in person! Actions speak louder than words. Come see the TD Festival of New Works and see what our second years have brought to life. Don’t miss the final performance of the festival tonight (March 28) at 7:30 p.m. Admission is by donation based on availability of seating. Doors open at 7:00 p.m.