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The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

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The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

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‘Project Love’ combines theatre with documentary

Project Love combines theatre with documentary

Project Love” is not the typical theatre experience. It documents real people’s stories through abstract performance.

Last summer, 11 students went out and interviewed friends, family and people they knew with questions about love. The result was 12 uniquely different stories about different types of love that became the raw material for the 90-minute play.

“The students have completely taken this on. It is student created, student constructed and student performed,” said the play’s Director Katie Laris.

The actors worked on the voice, words and stories to accurately portray their character. They take on a very human subject. Unlike a character spawned from a playwright’s head, these actors met the living-breathing people they’re portraying.

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One story is about a former City College student’s love of life after they had been in prison for nearly 50 years. Another story asks, why is love fleeting?

But not all the stories have to deal with struggle and hard times. Some of the stories are quite fun and playful.

“We wanted it to be love beyond romantic love, all kinds of love,” said Laris.

The student actors present these stories from the characters point-of-view, which allows the audience to become absorbed in the stories.

“The idea of [the audience] really immersing themselves in these other people’s stories is maybe they get clarity about their own lives,” said Laris.

In addition to the live shows, “Project Love” will also be featured as a television program on TVSB.

A year-and-a-half ago the director produced a similar documentary style piece with Alice Scharper, dean of fine arts. The play was called “Through the Fire,” and focused on interviews on wildfires in Santa Barbara.

“We wanted to do another documentary style theatre piece but to do it with students,” said Laris. “We determined it would be about that huge indefinable subject of love.”

“Project Love” opens Nov. 13 and runs to Nov. 23 in the Jurkowitz Theatre. Tickets are $16 dollars and can be purchased online or by phone at (805) 965-5935.


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