The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Students take control of theater productions

By Hannah Lathen/ managing editor

South Campus’ theater program performs We the People, a compiled show about the presidential election, last semester. The actors got to portray themselves.

South Campus’ theater program continues to step back from traditional theater and produce shows compiled and acted by students.  

Drama instructor Lindy Benton-Muller is currently working on her next play, one that will go on the list of the many compiled shows she has directed on South Campus.

Compiled shows are productions where the script is formulated from an array of different sources from famous quotes to magazine articles. On South Campus, the Theater Practicum students compile the information themselves and then act it out on stage.

Each compiled show done on South is not only original to those students but relevant to what is going on in the world at the time.

“It can feel confusing at first when we start working on it from their point of view, but by the time we come up with a finished product, it fits like a play that was written for you because you’re the one that helped put it together,” she said. “It becomes very personal.”

Benton-Muller said the actors pull all kinds of print from books, magazines, newspapers and documents. They use online sources and look at song lyrics. Sometimes, they use things that were written down based on what actually happened during a rehearsal.

Drama instructor Lindy-Benton Muller is introducing her students to an alternative form of theater where students compile documents instead of going off a traditional script.
Collegian file photos

“It is hard to explain, but it can come from a myriad of different sources,” she said. “It really depends on them and what they find.”

Student Hope Rosser says putting the show together is like a jigsaw puzzle.

“If you don’t put it together right, it might come off as offensive or something like that and ruin what you were trying to do in the first place,” she said. “I think it is a good teaching experience to try to find stuff that would work well together.”

Benton-Muller said once all the different pieces are gathered, they are compiled into a show.

“Once we get passed pulling together the elements, it shifts, it changes and it becomes an entity and an experience all their own,” she said.

Student Victoria Nearn said it is rewarding to see something they created go up on stage.

“In traditional theater, you’re given a script, and you’re told what to do,” she said. “And this is all what we want to do.”

Student Kristen Clay said with compiled shows, actors are given more room to be themselves.

“There are so many internal things you can do because we are just given a title,” she said. “We can go a million different directions with it, and it will still turn into something.”

Benton-Muller said the plays they are doing are academic theater, and the students can gain not only in theater but in real life.

“The most important part is that the actors find their voice, that they learn how to do research and learn how to find different types of expression through their research,” she said.

The next play from South Campus’ theater program is Those Before Me at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 16-18 in the Joe B. Rushing Performing Arts Center.

The next compiled show from South Campus is Those Before Me, in honor of Women’s History Month, at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 16-18 in the Joe B. Rushing Arts Performing Center.

Students interested in performing in South’s plays must join the Theater Practicum class. The theater program at South offers scholarships to students interested in joining the practicum class. For more information on the scholarships, contact Benton-Muller at 817-515-4717.

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