Workshops to end in performance

The+Interpreters+Theatre%2C+located+in+Lang+Hall%2C+will+serve+as+the+venue+for+UNI+SAVE%27s+%22Your+Response+Matters%22+performance+this+Friday.

JACOB MADDEN

The Interpreters Theatre, located in Lang Hall, will serve as the venue for UNI SAVE’s “Your Response Matters” performance this Friday.

SARAH RITONDALE, Staff Writer

This week, UNI SAVE (Students Advocating for Voices and Equality) are presenting performance-based workshops as part of their “Your Response Matters” initiative. The workshops, which are being held in the Interpreters Theatre in Lang Hall, started on Monday, March 20, and will conclude tonight, March 23.

These workshops will culminate in one final workshop on Friday, March 24, which will be followed by a performance at 7:30 p.m. consisting of the stories and experiences shared throughout the week. According to UNI SAVE, these workshops entail the opportunity to not only self-reflect, but to listen to how others respond to their unique circumstances. The performance at the end of the week is meant to play, create and build community.

“The [Your Response Matters] workshops are in response to the SAVE students commenting on observing people not having enough time to process and respond to their lives,” said Amandajean Nolte, director of UNI SAVE and production coordinator for the UNI Interpreters Theatre. “Whether it is not having the time to celebrate a personal success before moving onto the next item on the to-do list or feeling like there isn’t time to grieve a loss because life keeps turning, these workshops offer a place to pause and reflect.”

“Your Response Matters” is an opportunity for students to recognize both positive and negative aspects of their lives and have the opportunity to appreciate or recuperate from circumstances that are thrown in their direction, according to UNI SAVE. In addition, it will offer a safe place where students can connect with one another.

“I never give myself the time to reflect on things and then express my feelings or experiences by doing something creative, or by creating something with other people,” said Megan Rion, graduate instructor in the communication studies department. “For me, it’s about connecting with others about how I am feeling. And they are feeling and creating something to express that — allowing myself to spend this time being playful.”

According to the UNI communication studies website, UNI SAVE “use[s] dialogue, workshopping, storytelling and performance to facilitate community engagement in social change.”

In effect, the group uses these means of engagement for students to better understand one another and the types of challenges people are facing and overcoming.

The organization has stated that their goal is to better society as a whole by having people become more capable of empathizing with one another. UNI SAVE explores social justice and aims to create a safer environment for everyone involved.

“SAVE works to create spaces where honest dialogues can happen, and community is built through story sharing and understanding,” Nolte said.

In addition to self-reflection, another aspect of “Your Response Matters” is that it provides the opportunity to listen to others’ experiences.

“There also must be time to hear other people’s responses to their circumstances,” Nolte said. “It is through this story-sharing and hearing that real empathy and understanding is practiced.”

The students in the workshop will not be the only ones listening to each other, as the performance on Friday will also allow audience members to listen and engage with the performers.

“Students are encouraged to join us on Friday at 7:30 to watch what we have created; there may also be a chance for the audience members to participate,” Rion said. “Audience members will be able to reflect on their own lives and see how they can ‘play’ more themselves, too. If there are experiences or feelings that they have been experiencing, this can be a new way for audience members to process things in their lives.”

Because the maximum number of participants that are able to attend each workshop is only 15 people, some students may not have had the opportunity to sign up for “Your Response Matters.”

However, Nolte is informing students that SAVE plans to host more of these workshops in the coming year.

“This pilot offers us a chance to try out some new techniques and get feedback from participants and audience members as we embark on this new platform of performance,” Nolte said.