Written by Raymond Diaz
The class has really allowed myself to explore my more creative side and really take a moment to more or less think about myself and devote time to myself where it has given me a sort of curiosity that hadn’t been there for some time.
The first event I attended was Home, and this production when first seeing it had me awestruck, sitting there vigorously trying to figure out what they were doing with the lighting to create these seemingly impossible feats, wondering what could be behind the stage that was allowing for them to create this house right before our very eyes. But this wasn’t the only bit that left a feeling in me, seeing what the home they presented us with was almost a tug at something I felt I had missed on, seeing everyone interact with each other no matter what was going on and seeing this family form to create this house into a home was really special to me. It left me waiting to see what else we would see if this were the first play we watched, for myself at least.
The second event I attended was the one in the Krannert Art Museum, hosted by Jennifer Monson, and it was really interesting. Meeting in the lobby to then go outside and take a moment to almost meditate on the grass, accompanied by the fact that it was a beautiful day out and the sun was almost setting, it made me think more about how I was doing and let me rest, even if for a second. But the part that left me feeling like a kid again was when we went into the large exhibit room where we sat and were directed to close our eyes and move as we felt. Personally I sat there but then was sparked with joy or something, because I started to roll and slide around and just felt this happiness from doing something so random. A better evening for an okay day.
The third event I attended was SPEAK cafe at the Krannert Art Museum and this one was more intimate, an open mic for all and it seemed as though the people who attended had already known each other for some time, so for a little I felt awkward as I was the only one from class there. But as I heard each person speak and share their stories I began to feel more connected with them. Sharing stories that I could relate to, which led to the reinspiration of journaling again, something I set aside for some time. It was an intimate time, and something I’m glad I checked out.
The fourth event I attended was Gem of the Ocean and this one spoke more of trying to find your place in the world, especially in the time period it was placed in and the characters that were in it, trying to find what to do with their newfound freedom. Unfortunately I stayed for the first half only but in this half I thought of the characters and the stories they each carried behind them and how they all just wanted to find what it is they were meant to do, and that can in a sense connect with us. We’re all still young and in college, and this really is the time in which we spend trying to find ourselves and looking for what it is our place in the world will be. It offered insight into retrospection and thinking of the world around us.
The fifth event I attended was the Wynton Marsalis concert, and this one was one that I already was excited for. Two of my friends were in jazz band in high school and their my roommates now but seeing how excited they were when they found he was coming was cool to see. I love music and jazz is definitely on my list of go to music, and I listen to Mr.Marsalis, so it was also a great opportunity for me. Once there though it was amazing, sitting there with my eyes closed just listening and picking out each instrument individually, seeing how it contributed to the overall ensemble. But once the solos came it added to the groove they had. A great night for any fan of music and its intricacies.
The sixth event I attended was for extra credit, I went to the Spurlock Museum, and this one was more laid back. I was the only one from class, and the only person there on the day I went so it was cool to just walk around an empty museum filled ancient relics, reading about how each contributed to its time period or reading about the significance each had. Like hopping into a time machine and travelling back forward, taking a stop in different cultures, seeing how some may have contributed to each one later in the future. It’s been awhile since I went to a museum, so being able to walk around and take my time reading up on each exhibit was calming and oddly fun. An activity I would like to do again sometime.
The seventh event I attended was Tiger, with this one there wasn’t that much known about it other than the fact that it would have something to do with animals since it was titled tiger, but once I arrived and it started, I was drawn to it. The multiple ways of story-telling that went on, flipping through characters and having multiple genres in the performance were really intriguing. Going through the story of a tiger going around eating people and playing a native of the area, then transforming into a person trying to summon the tiger god and having us chant with him, to then becoming serious and personal. Sharing the story of a small town being flooded and helping a young man find his tiger, here in the U.S., it sounded absurd but was compelling, showing how everywhere climate change is affecting everyone and we need to do something about it if we are to change it.
The eighth event I attended was The Nature of Forgetting and this one, similarly to Home, really touched me. Seeing the character travel through his deteriorating memory and watching him grow up and go through serious life events, trying to hold onto them and prevent them from disappearing was almost heartbreaking. Personally I found myself thinking constantly of the past, for better or worse, and I always find myself thinking of key moments of my life that may have constructed the person I am today, but then I found myself back in the present and remembering that there is still a long time to grow and create new memories. So this one was especially close to me.
Overall the class was an amazing experience that really allowed for introspection and allowed for me to get back in touch with a side of me that had been dormant for some time. A great class and one I hope more people take.