By Carolyn Williams
“This Is Me”, a show taking the form of a series of monologues, and written by students and performed by actors, took a new spin on the typical campus performance.
“This Is Me” is a project that was performed on Friday, Nov. 4 in McDonell Ski Lounge and Sunday, Nov. 6 in Vedder Pit. The project was collaborated on by 22 students and 13 members of University faculty and staff, and was created by Ana Aguilera Silva ’14.
The anonymity of the writers was preserved, promoting a sense of mutual empathy with the struggles described in each monologue and the speeches addressed issues of identity and difference which separate people from the “group” at large.
“The idea for ‘This is Me’ came about as a response to events that groups promote on campus to highlight how they are different and unique. The aim of this project is to show that regardless of your beliefs, identities or the roles you play in our community, there is something greater that joins us as a whole, and that is our shared humanity. From there, I started talking and asking people to take part in breaking the silence and sharing a piece of their life with the rest of Bucknell,” Aguilera Silva said.
Each monologue speaks to an issue pivotal to its individual writer’s sense of self and the terms and frames through which they are viewed both on campus and in society. These identities run the gamut between body image, rape and gender identity. The raw emotion imbued in the writing translates well into the actors’ portrayals, eliciting an undeniable connection between writer, actor and audience member.
“[The most exciting part was] seeing the effect of the project in the writers and the performers. For example, when some of the performers got to meet their writers most of them were really shocked about who wrote their pieces. However, I must admit that one of my favorite moments was a one-to-one talk with Michael Green [’13] who performed ‘I Am Not a Woman.’ He said that thanks to the project, he got to understand that the trans-man he was portraying ‘ … is a guy. I am a guy, and that’s all that matters.’ Moments like this are the ones who made all the hard work of the team worth it,” Aguilera Silva said.
Students truly enjoyed attending the performance, which is quite unique in it’s formation.
“It was great to see members of the Bucknell community helping to give voice to the untold stories of Bucknellians. It was a unique experience that was truly moving to be a part of as a member of the audience,” Morrisa Gold ’13 said.
“You do not need to know someone or have gone through the experiences they have lived in order to be empathetic with them,” Aguilera Silva said.