University of Minnesota’s Xperimental Theater
Created and performed by Eric Larson, Neva Dalager, Jo Kellen, and Elizabeth Cooper. Directed by Eric Larson. Featuring Leif Hove, Kate Smokowicz, and Aubrey Trecek.
Theatre Arts utilizes the aesthetics of student-made theatre to explore the limits of creativity within institutional structures, and the role of the student in pursuing radicality. The show interrogates a notorious 2014 incident of student rebellion in the theatre department at the University of Minnesota, in which somebody (or somebodies) anonymously “vandalized” one of the theater spaces with demands for the somewhat-decrepit facilities to be improved. Theatre Arts digs into a range of archives – embodied, unofficial, institutional, and canonical – and stages a haphazard re-investigation into who vandalized the Xperimental Theater. The 2016 cast featured four seniors, three freshmen, and two different faculty members at every performance.
A 15-minute speed-through of the show, entitled Theatre Arts (Sacrifice), was performed at Fresh Oysters – Performance Research as part of Skewed Vision’s 3-PLAY, curated by Charles Campbell, in April 2016.