For the past 15 years, the Guthrie Experience for Actors in Training has brought top masters-level performers to the Twin Cities for an intensive, summer program, ending with a student-created piece on Big Blue's stage.
Befitting a group of young performers who grew up with cell phones and the internet, Going Live! is a comedic look at how media have changed the way people interact.
"I proposed at the beginning that we should look at current state of affairs and how media has changed our reality," says director Marcela Lorca, who has worked with the program since its inception. "We're looking at how social media has fostered a sense of isolation in their lives. I found they were really craving to be with people and to have conversations--just the simple things of life."
The dozen students--who come from programs as diverse as UCLA, SMU, Juilliard, and Yale--developed skits, songs, and other moments for the performance, which Lorca then helped to mold into a fully fledged show. The piece has a non-linear approach. "It has a TV format of cutting and quick changes that go from episode to episode. If you watch the piece as a whole, it does remind you of the media and how fast it shifts. We are covering a lot of ground," Lorca says.
For the students, the work gives them a taste of the professional life. "They get to interact with the staff of the Guthrie, see how it and the community operate. We are empowering them as artists to continue a life in the theater; to trust themselves creatively and artistically," Lorca says.
The audience isn't forgotten in all of this development. "I think they will get to see and have fun with the absurdity of what we see," Lorca says. "There's an element of zombies in the piece; that there are teenagers who get so into the media that they just become like zombies. I hope a lot of young people come and see it and see this reflection of how they live and interact these days."
Going Live! runs Wednesday through Sunday at the Dowling Studio. Tickets are $10.