Dr. John Taylor
The Paw Print
Will Act for Change will be presenting “1st Amendment Theatre: Scenes from Banned Plays” on May 3 at 7:30pm in the Adams State University Main Stage Theatre. The performance is free to the public with no tickets needed, and is for mature audiences only. The show will feature controversial subject matter, adult language and situations. Doors open at 7pm.
Will Act for Change is a student acting company dedicated to using theatre to create social change. It was created as part of the Theatre and Social Change course taught by Dr. John Taylor, Professor of Theatre at Adams State University.
As a recipient of the 2009 Presidential Teacher Award, Taylor was given the opportunity to teach a class of his choice and chose to create this course. Theatre and Social Change is now part of the theatre program’s curriculum. About the class, Taylor said, “I wanted to give my students an opportunity to practice theatre in a different way and to understand that to entertain people means more than making them laugh. As artists, I wanted to challenge them to ask the question, ‘How will I change my part of the world?’”
Will Act for Change’s mission statement reads: “We are a social protest theatre company whose mission is to provoke change by challenging the status quo. Through the power of performance, we seek to encourage our audience to join with us as we promote social justice for all.”
In the class, students have been studying and practicing different forms of performance that address injustice and oppression in society including guerrilla theatre techniques. Earlier in the semester, Will Act for Change performed the play “8” as part of a national project about marriage equality.
As part of “1st Amendment Theatre,” ASU students will present short guerrilla theatre “plays” dealing with a variety of topics including gun violence, sexual assault on college campuses, international politics, and a protest of Colorado’s de-funding of higher education which has led to increased tuitions and massive student loan debt. They will also perform scenes from plays that have been banned or censored.
Taylor said, “It will be an evening with a lot of laughs as well as thought provoking works. As we celebrate the 1st Amendment’s guarantee of free speech, we are also exploring ways of achieving a more just society. It’s not about righting all wrongs, but it is about trying to be a better society.”