Social issues were brought into the spotlight when sociology met theatre in ‘Truth be Told’

Left to right, Rebecca Hensley, Shelby Eliot-Layman and James Winter.
Annie Goodman/The Lion’s Roar

Chad Winters, James Winter and Rebecca Hensley teamed up to teach a social issues drama class which performed “Truth be Told” as their final.

The performance was held Tuesday, May 2 at 7:30 p.m. in the Vonnie Borden Theatre.

“It was a social drama class, and it was something that Jim and myself and Rebecca have been talking about for a couple years,” said Winters, instructor of acting and directing. “We wanted to bring both of our classes together, so we did, and we explored all of these different issues. What you saw tonight was the end product. As a teacher, I don’t perform as much as I would like to sometimes. So, it was great to be able to do that a little bit.”

 

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Although the class did not have much time to prepare, students felt it went well.

“I thought it was great,” said Andrew Cowan, a senior psychology major. “This was literally put together within a couple of weeks, probably three rehearsals, very, very choppy, but it’s a passion we all have. So, I thought it went great.”

Audience members enjoyed the controversial topics it brought up.

“It was really nice,” said Brianna Ensminger, a senior English major. “It brought up a lot of issues that young people and older people deal with in the world today. It brought up racism, homosexuality and the differences between generations. Even if we aren’t the same, we still have to care about each other.”

Winter, associate professor of acting and directing was surprised by the size of the audience.

“You know, the funny thing about performing is it’s hard to judge yourself ‘cause you’re in it,” said Winter. “I am proud of everybody. We never had a full run through, ever. We had a way larger crowd than I expected. I thought there’d be like 40 people out there.”

Ensminger was surprised by how honest the performance was.

“It brought to light some things that we don’t even want to face,” said Ensminger. “We just kind of hide it on the back burner, and even though we see it, we don’t act like it’s an actual thing that’s going on in the world. I think that what shocked me was just how true and how in-your-face it was about our world.”

Cowan’s piece was titled “Seriously” and was about the different mentalities of different generations.

 “It’s something that I experience a lot,” said Cowan. “It’s passive aggressive comments where if you say something, you’re the jerk. He is very much covering up for himself like, ‘Oh no, we can’t talk about that in the workplace.’ It’s very blatant in a very passive way where if you say something, it’s wrong on you. That was my inspiration.”

Winter hopes the performance sparks further thought.

“I hope they keep talking about this stuff,” said Winter. “I hope that little discussion at the end is only the beginning for the audience. So, my hope is that it is the beginning. If one person in the audience loves more than they did before and tolerates more than they did before, then we did our job.”

 

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