Theater I.S. Production: From the Script to the Stage

Morgan Hunter, Contributing Writer

Last week, the Department of Theatre and Dance presented the I.S. productions of both Teresa Ascencio ’23 and Amari Royal ’23. Audiences enjoyed the double-feature performances of “La Guerra Inside Me” (Ascensio) and “Grief Live!” (Royal) last Wednesday, Feb. 15 and Thursday, Feb. 16 nights in our very own Shoolroy Theatre. Both performances were crafted, rehearsed and performed in partial fulfillment of both students’ Senior Independent Study projects.

“La Guerra Inside Me” is a solo performance piece in which Ascencio explores what it means to them to be mixed-race, while also tackling themes of self-identity and acceptance. The piece takes the audience on a captivating journey through Ascensio’s life, starting with their birth. Through snapshots and memories, the audience fully understands Ascencio’s life through laughs, milestones, hurt and healing. While her piece focuses on the disconnect she feels with her Latin heritage, the themes truly resonate with anyone who is of mixed identity or at least has desired to learn parts of their history that feel out of reach. Fret not, though, as Ascencio does not call this a dramedy for nothing. There are countless moments of song, dance and laughter as Ascencio commands the stage. After all, they are a Leo!

“Grief Live!” is an acting recital that explores artistic representations of the five stages of grief. Royal, along with actors Jade Green ’23, Alexis Kelbley ’23, Hudson Davis ’24 and Tori Chellis ’25, performed a collection of musical numbers and acting scenes that represented each stage of grief as they progressed. Each scene showcased different characters in different situations, articulating the true expanse of ways humanity experiences these feelings and reactions we know as grief. Collaborative pianist Toni Shreve accompanied the song portions in which actors poetically sang and moved to give new meaning to numerous musical favorites. Through their combination of musical numbers and acting scenes, Royal was able to unite the audience and connect with everyone at their core, no matter their background.

Both Ascencio and Royal have performed in departmental productions in the past; however, neither have performed in quite this way for the campus community. When asked about it, Ascensio explained, “Being able to perform my original work in front of an audience felt incredible and served as a full-circle experience for me.” As both of their I.S. projects draw to a close and near the day of turn-in, we wish them both luck in all their future endeavors!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: