Faculty Performance Production: Phillip Christian Smith’s 2017 political thriller, “The Chechens” (DRA4143.01)

Jean Randich

This is a faculty performance production of a new play, “The Chechens,” by Phillip Christian Smith, Black playwright and 2020-2021 Playwrights Realm Writing Fellow. “In modern Chechnya homosexuals are rumored to be held in camps. Can one family protect their brother suspected of being gay, or will they honor kill him to protect the name of the family? What prevails in the end-religion, politics, or love? “

We will rehearse in person as well as on zoom. The playwright will participate with us weekly, and be involved from the initial read-through to the “production.” We will be creating a combination of live streaming/zoom/pre-recorded video to tell the story. “The Chechens,” inspired by Chekhov’s “Three Sisters,” as well as state-sponsored terrorism in Chechnya against women and homosexuals, offers 5 intense roles for 3 women and 2 men. We will be researching the cultural and historical background in Chechnya, as well as parallel issues in the U.S. When asked “Who are the Chechens?” Mr. Smith responded, “We are.” We are looking for actors who can hold an emotional shared history, play subtext, devise a physical score through improvisation, and make bold choices when the stakes are high. This play offers an opportunity for all students, international, BIPOC, and others, to engage with the question of what the oppressed can do if the government dictates who is human, and who must be expelled.
Auditions will be held in the spring. The script will be available to read in the Drama Conference Room in VAPA. If you are interested in working on video, design, or production, please contact jrandich@bennington.edu.

Learning Outcomes:

Delivery Method: Fully in-person
Prerequisites:Some acting/performance experience desired. Auditions will be held in the beginning of the spring 2021 term.
Course Level: 4000-level
Credits: 4
T, W, Th, F, 7:00PM-10:00PM; SA 12:00PM-4:00PM (Full-term)
Maximum Enrollment: 14
Course Frequency: One time only

Categories: All courses , Drama , Fully In-Person
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